Goodwill Fined More than $100K after Worker’s Gruesome Death

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27 April 2017

Sacramento Bee, 8 April 2017

Man says he warned Goodwill of lax safety before co-worker was crushed.  Dave Goudie, a former Goodwill employee who witnessed the death of Abraham Garza, said the young father’s death could have been prevented with proper training.  Cal-OSHA has hit Sacramento Goodwill with more than $100,000 in fines for safety violations. 

Serious and willful safety violations by Goodwill in Sacramento led to the grisly death last year of a 26-year-old loading dock worker at one of its outlet stores, say state regulators who issued six citations and more than $100,000 in fines against the giant nonprofit.  Cal-OSHA, the state’s workplace safety agency, chastised the charity for what it called its failure to train workers at its Franklin Boulevard outlet store in the use of dangerous equipment. 

The charity also failed to adequately respond to an employee’s written warnings about hazardous working conditions, according to the state’s findings from a six-month investigation.  Abraham Nicholas Garza died Sept. 30 when his head was crushed while helping check the alignment of a heavy metal bin and a trash compactor.  A former Goodwill employee who witnessed the accident said he had tried to warn management about dangerous conditions, verbally and in writing. 

He blames the death in part on Goodwill’s culture that he said places ‘profits over people.’ 

‘It’s a money tree,” said the former employee, 56-year-old Dave Goudie.  Goodwill blames Goudie for Garza’s death.  ‘Goodwill definitely grieves over the tragedy of this accident,’ said Goodwill spokeswoman Karen McClaflin.  ‘But this was caused by the negligence of one employee.’

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