Construction accidents are all too common in California, and recent accidents in the San Francisco Bay area have prompted the California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to increase oversight of construction sites. Inspectors will reportedly be keeping an eye out to ensure employers are complying with rules regarding fall protection, as well as equipment safety, trench safety and site hazards. Employers found to be in violation will face citation.
The accidents that prompted the increased oversight took place in Riverside, San Diego, San Mateo and San Jose. In each case, a construction worker died because of a fall or some dangerous condition on the site. In many such cases, the accident is preventable. It is simply a matter of the employer taking the steps necessary to identify and correct the problem.
Construction accident falls were recently targeted in an awareness campaign by OSHA. The issue is important because falls at work are one of the most frequent causes of workplace injuries and fatalities.
Construction workers who are injured in a fall at work deserve, of course, to be compensated for their harm. The most important thing for employees to do when they are injured while working is to report the incident right away and find out the process for applying for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers who encounter resistance from an employer with respect to filing a worker’ comp claim may benefit from working with an experienced attorney. Doing so will ensure they are not on their own if an employer refuses to cooperate or chooses to retaliate in response to a claim for benefits.
Source: Safety.BLR.com, “Cal/OSHA takes action following spate of construction fatalities,” June 11, 2014.