A recent fatal Petaluma worksite accident underscores the dangers prevalent at many construction sites.  According to CBS San Francisco, a 28-year-old Novato man was killed at the construction site just west of U.S. Highway 101 in Petaluma when he was crushed by a large metal pipe. The pipe was 40 feet long and weighed more the 8,000 pounds.   Shortly after a forklift operator set the pipe on the ground, it began to roll toward an embankment.  The victim was killed as he attempted to stop the pipe’s movement. Both Sonoma County officials as well asCalifornia’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) are investigating the factors that led to this accident.

National OSHA reports that fatalities that occur as the result of being “struck by an object” are the second most frequent source of construction site deaths.  These deaths, along with falls, electrocutions and caught-in/between accidents make up construction’s “fatal four.” Often, general contractors and subcontractors could help prevent these deaths by paying stricter attention to policies and procedures set out by OSHA, by ensuring proper training, by maintaining safe work environments and by making sure one the work of one trade does not adversely impact that of another. In fact, general contractors and subcontractors have an obligation to maintain their work sites in a reasonably safe condition and protect others from unreasonable dangers associated with their work. Where dangerous conditions cause injury, general contractors or subcontractors may be found negligent and held responsible for the harm caused. 

Due to the complexities involved, if you or a family member has been injured in a construction site accident, it is critical to consult a knowledgeable Oakland personal injury attorney right away. For more information, please contact the experienced Oakland construction site lawyers at Butler Viadro LLP for an immediate consultation.