The Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health has assessed fines of $77,900 against a Galt-based farm labor contractor found to be in violation of California's heat illness prevention regulations.
An investigation of Solis Farm Labor was opened May 29 after the death of Maria Vasquez Jimenez, an employee of Merced Farm Labor Contractor, who had been working in a San Joaquin County vineyard for nine hours with little water and no shade. Employees of Solis Farm Labor were working in the same vineyard as Jimenez and other employees of Merced Farm Labor Contractor, according to a statement released by the department Tuesday.
Jimenez had been living in Lodi since Feburary when she came to the United States to work.
While Jimenez was not employed by Solis FLC, many of the health and safety violations that contributed to her death were also observed by Cal/OSHA investigators at the Solis FLC work site.
"We will not tolerate employers who put their workers' lives at risk by violating key provisions of the heat illness prevention regulations," said Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh in the statement.
Last month, Cal/OSHA issued citations and fines of $262,700 against Merced FLC, and Cal/OSHA has referred the case to the San Joaquin County District Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.
Solis Farm Labor was cited for failing to provide single-use disposable cups at water stations, implement an illness and injury prevention program, have written procedures for complying with heat illness prevention requirements and failure to maintain a properly equipped first aid kit at the work site.