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Building Supply Company Fined For Fatal SF Forklift Accident

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A building supply company in San Francisco was fined more than $62,000 for multiple safety violations related to a forklift accident that killed a man in November, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health announced Monday.

Good View Roofing & Building Supply Co., located at 1320 Marin St. in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood, was the site of the accident that killed 58-year-old South San Francisco resident Ruan Qiang on Nov. 21.

Qiang was operating a forklift that was transferring building supplies from the company's warehouse to a customer's vehicle and a bag of mortar mix fell off the load and blocked the front right wheel of the forklift as it descended a ramp, according to Cal/OSHA.

Qiang reversed the forklift to free the bag and as he turned the steering wheel, the back wheel went over the edge of the ramp, tipping the five-ton vehicle over. Qiang tried to jump out of the cab of the forklift but was crushed to death, Cal/OSHA officials said.

Good View Roofing & Building Supply received a $62,320 fine from Cal/OSHA.

The state agency cited six violations, including failure to ensure the proper use of a forklift seatbelt, failure to ensure that the forklift operator was certified to operate it safely, and failure to ensure that industrial ramps have at least an 8-inch curb installed along the open edges.

"This incident could have been prevented had the employer effectively evaluated the workplace for hazards, which would have identified the unguarded edge of the ramp that exposed the forklift to tipping," Cal/OSHA chief Juliann Sum said in a statement.

"The worker should have been properly trained to stay seated with the seatbelt fastened in the event of a tip over," Sum added.

Cal/OSHA encourages any employees with work-related questions or complaints to call the department's call center at (844) LABOR-DIR. Complaints can also be filed confidentially at Cal/OSHA's district offices.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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