San Francisco news reports that a construction worker has died following a fatal industrial accident. According to KRON television, the man was working on a boom truck just south of Interstate Highway 280 in San Jose for ABM Electrical & Lighting, a facility management company. Industrial work sites may pose significant risks for workers. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4585 workers were killed on the job in 2013 (the most recently reported statistics) which averages to 88 deaths a week or more than 12 every day.
Whenever industrial accidents occur – several different factors must be considered. First, most work place injuries, including deaths, are covered by California workers compensation laws. The California workers compensation claim system provides benefits to workers (and in the case of a death, the surviving family members). In most situations, workers compensation benefits are provided regardless of an employer’s fault. Such benefits may include disability benefits (or death benefits if applicable) and medical treatment. However, workers’ compensation benefits don’t include lost wages, pain and suffering or certain other damages that may result from an injury.
But, in certain situations, where a work site accident is caused by a third party additional rights may be available to recover these damages. A “third party” is someone other than the employer of employee and may include the property owner where work is being done, the manufacturer or lessor of defective tools or machinery, or other entities in control of aspects of a work site. In these situations it may be possible to file a civil claim and recover compensation for damages not provided by workers compensation.
Here, all the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown. The accident is currently under investigation by Cal OSHA. For more information, or if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an industrial or construction site accident, please contact the experienced Oakland industrial accident lawyers at Butler Viadro, LLP for an immediate consultation.