Dec. 21, 2021
Statement from the City of Santa Rosa in Response to Cal/OSHA Settlement
Update Regarding Enhanced Electrical Safety Procedures Following Tragic Accident
On Dec. 19, 2022, the City of Santa Rosa and Cal/OSHA reached a final settlement following the tragic electrical accident at the Laguna Treatment Plant on Sept. 30, 2020. Daryl Clark, a 12-year veteran of Santa Rosa Water, was performing annual maintenance on a piece of high-voltage electrical equipment at one of the City’s recycled water pump stations immediately prior to his death.
As is protocol following any workplace fatality, Cal/OSHA was notified immediately following the incident and investigated. In May of 2021, Cal/OSHA released the initial citations to the City of Santa Rosa. Upon further review, Cal/OSHA and the City recently agreed to five citations and $55,000 in fines. As noted in Cal/OSHA’s citations, the City immediately addressed each citation following the incident.
Following the accident, the City took immediate action to complete an extensive safety review of the equipment and workplace safety, which included partnering with subject matter experts on electrical safety, implementing interim procedures recommended by Cal/OSHA prior to re-starting the recycled water pump station, and reviewing standard operating procedures.
The City has also completed an audit of the Department’s safety and training program, restructured workgroups, reinforced the importance of workplace safety and conducted additional safety trainings. The safety of our employees is paramount, and the City is committed to ongoing safety training and the continual improvement of procedures to prevent workplace accidents.
The City of Santa Rosa is still recovering from the tragic loss of our colleague, and our thoughts remain with Daryl’s family and friends.