Cal/OSHA has fined vintner Trinchero Family Estates almost $45,000 in penalties for the death last year of a winery worker at its Joel Gott Winery in Napa.
The St. Helena winery, the fourth largest wine company in the United States, paid the fine on Feb. 28, according to Frank Polizzi, spokesman for the state Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees Cal/OSHA.
Jose Alberto Avina, 43, suffered “fatal crushing injuries to his torso” on Aug. 31 at the winery when he was pinned by barrel racks he was removing from a 40-foot container, according to the Cal/OSHA report.
Another employee was assisting in the removal of the racks but was able to jump out of the way and to safety as they fell, according to the report.
Avina, however, was unable to escape and “was struck and pinned under the racks on the asphalt parking surface at the rear of the container, suffering fatal crushing injuries.”
In a statement, Trinchero said “since the tragic accident last August, we have carefully reviewed all of our health and safety processes, and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis.” It added, “the health and safety of our employees is deeply important to us at Trinchero Family Estates, and we remain committed to taking care of everyone in our organization.”