Berkeley Plant Worker Dies In Industrial Accident

BERKELEY (CBS SF) – A San Pablo man died from head trauma suffered in an industrial accident at a manufacturing plant in Berkeley last week, according to the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.

Ariel Munoz-Garcia, a 30-year-old employee at Berkeley Forge and Tool, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 1330 Second St. at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the coroner’s bureau.

Patricia Ortiz, a spokeswoman for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said that the accident remains under investigation.

Ortiz said the industrial accident that resulted in the death of Munoz-Garcia is believed to have occurred on Thursday around 10:20 p.m. when an 8-inch wheel from a pneumatic hand grinder broke into pieces and fatally struck Muniz-Garcia in the left side of his head.

According to the coroner’s bureau, Munoz-Garcia died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head with a penetrating foreign body.

“Our responsibility is to conduct a thorough investigation and to use the information to prevent similar accidents,” Ortiz said.

Paul Bierwith, a co-owner of Berkeley Forge and Tool, a manufacturer of mining products, which employees between 80 and 100 workers in Berkeley, said the tragic accident at the facility happened during an overnight shift.

Bierwith said that the death of Munoz-Garcia is the sole fatality in the company’s 65-year history of operation in Berkeley.

“The company is deeply saddened and our hearts go out to his family,” Bierwith said.



(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


  • d

    That sucks, I really dispise grinders, the smell the wieght.

  • jimmy

    maybe if the company had the right tool for the job and also if the grinder had a Guard on it this death would not have happened , this death is a crime not an industrial Accident i hope the investigation finds berkeley forge liable and charges are filed .

  • mark

    Yes this may be a crime, However during the investigation there are some key things to look at.
    Did the employer complete a JSA/JHA, Based off the this was the employee furnished with the proper ppe and training. Was it varified that the employee knew and understood what was trained. If the employer did what was required and the employee was negligent, why should the employer be liable.
    This news peice does not give enough information to draw a conclusion.

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