MORGAN HILL, Calif. - A California-based supplier of Redwood, Douglas Fir, and plywood must pay $375,000 for the death of a sawmill employee in 2013.
Redwood Empire, also known as Pacific State Industries, allegedly engaged in unlawful business practices and worker safety law violations, according to a complaint from the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office. That complaint followed a 2014 referral for prosection from California's OSHA division.
OSHA wrote that millwright Raul Lule was killed in a bark conveyor that employees frequently walked on to remove jammed-up timber. A DA investigation revealed a "culture of production over safety at the mill" and a lack of written procedures to guide employees regarding machinery use and cleaning.
Under the settlement, Redwood Empire agreed to improve its safety regulation, add written procedures, and pay $375,000 in penalties. Lule's family will receive $177,500 of that amount.
Redwood Empire runs three sawmills in Sonoma County.
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