Los Angeles Business Journal

Cal/OSHA Fines Menzies Aviation

By Andrew Edwards Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The state’s worker safety agency has issued citations imposing more than $77,000 in penalties against Menzies Aviation after an investigation uncovered safety violations involved in the death of a worker at Los Angeles International Airport.

Menzies Aviation provides ground handling and cargo services at LAX and many other airports around the world. The company is a division of Scottish firm John Menzies.

The deceased employees, 51-year-old Cesar Valenzuela, died after he was thrown from a vehicle used to carry cargo at LAX on Feb. 21 and crushed. An investigation by Cal/OSHA found that part of the vehicle’s seat belt was missing.

The agency concluded that Menzies Aviation failed to follow proper vehicle inspection procedures, that several other employees drove vehicles at LAX without using seatbelts and that the company falsely reported Valenzuela’s death as being the result of a heart attack.

Menzies Aviation has 15 days to appeal the citations, said Peter Melton, Cal/OSHA spokesman.

Menzies Aviation said in a statement that the company disagrees with Cal/OSHA’s conclusions and will appeal the citations. Menzies also said it was disappointed the agency revealed the results of its investigation after the firm delivered a 147-page response to the allegations.