A worker lost his life on the Ariva apartments construction site in the Kearny Mesa section of San Diego during the holidays. The tragedy would have gone unnoticed if not for a neighbor who witnessed the aftermath of the event and reported it to an Instagram account that covers construction offenses. News of the worker's death was non-existent on Wermers social feeds and went unreported in the media.
The witness watched from an apartment overlooking the site and captured the somber scene. In the photo, workers are gathered around a makeshift memorial while traces of the accident are still evident.
Unfortunately, this is the latest incident exemplifying a string of unsafe work violation charges against Wermers. For months, they have been part of an ongoing labor dispute highlighting unsafe conditions as well as child labor trafficking.
BDN got the details of what happened:
According to a worker on the site who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, Isidro Gonzalez Reyes, a crane operator, was standing behind his vehicle. A JLG forklift backed up, ran over and crushed Mr. Reyes as he was reportedly decorating his crane with Christmas lights.
The worker alleges that the forklift's back up alarm had been disabled because of complaints from neighbors about the site's early morning start times. This may have been in violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines concerning heavy equipment.
According to OSHA, "no employer shall use any motor vehicle equipment having an obstructed view to the rear unless; the vehicle has a reverse signal alarm audible above surrounding noise level or the vehicle is backed up only when an observer signals that it is safe to do so."
If the allegations turn out to be true, Wermers could be facing mounting legal troubles.
A funeral was held for Gonzalez Reyes on December 19, 2020.