The primary cause of death on construction sites are falls, which is evidenced by recent construction accidents in California. From May 18 to May 21, four workers were fatally injured on the job. All were injured on their respective construction sites in the San Francisco area. Because of these four deaths in as many days, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an inspection of all area construction sites. Cal/OSHA wants to determine if there are any companies failing to adhere to appropriate safety measures.
On May 18, a railroad bridge was being demolished and a worker fell to his death. On May 20, a construction worker was crushed by rebar when it fell on top of him. On that same day, another construction worker died as a result of injuries he suffered to his head after falling nine feet. On May 21, a man fell to his death from a three-story residential building.
Each death resulted in the construction worker falling to his death. OSHA appears to be concerned with employers having adequate safety programs and fall prevention measures in place. Although OSHA will be examining all safety measures, investigators will be focusing their investigation on fall-prevention tactics.
Workers’ compensation insurance in California will generally cover most medical expenses associated with an on-the-job injury. However, when workers are fatally injured on the job, surviving family members may have access to workers’ compensation death benefits. Workers’ compensation can be complicated so it may be helpful for workers and their families to become familiar with the process and what benefits may be available to ensure that the appropriate compensation is recovered. In addition, a personal injury lawsuit may be an option when the death was related to the negligence of a third party.
Source: Equipment World, “Following 4 deaths in 4 days, Cal/OSHA launches special inspections across San Francisco construction sites“, Wayne Grayson, May 28, 2014