When building large scale projects, worksites often have many layers of contractors, subcontractors and day laborers to complete the job. With so many people involved it can be a challenge to determine liability when a worker is injured.
If you work on large construction sites, you know how complex the operation is. Everyone has to do their job while relying on everyone around them to do theirs. Schedules become intertwined and everything has to move like clockwork.
News sources report that a federal contractor responsible for overseeing nuclear facilities is under investigation following several serious accidents. One incident involved the fatality of construction worker who died after a 1,200-foot pylon fell on him. An investigation into the incident revealed that the company violated safety training regulations and procedures for pile driving operations, and as such was received 2 citations for "serious" violations.
In the last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported 3 three fatal construction accidents. One accident involved a crane operator who was killed while working at a highway construction site. In a separate incident, two men lost their lives when a strap holding a 10,000-pound generator attached to a crane broke, and dropped the generator on the workers below. In a third, a construction worker was seriously injured when he was thrown from the bulldozer he was operating and hit by the machine.
California news reports that a construction worker has died at a Modesto worksite. Initial findings indicate that the man was struck on the head by a falling beam or similar object; however, the investigation is ongoing. The worker was employed by a subcontractor to help with the construction of a manufacturing or distribution center structure. When construction worker is killed on the job, surviving family members may be able to receive a death benefit and funeral benefits by filing a workers' compensation claim. If the deceased worker had minor children, that benefit can continue until the minor reaches age 18.
NBC News reports that one person has been killed and two others have suffered serious personal injuries when a crane toppled over in New York City. According to reports, the man was killed while walking to work. Construction crews had been working to secure the crane, when it collapsed and sent debris falling to the streets. Investigators are looking into the factors that may have contributed to the collapse including structural defects, weather conditions, and whether the conductor had drugs or alcohol in his system. An observer noted that the presence of cranes has been a sign of economic development; however, this incident should serve as a warning sign of the dangers associated with cranes and construction, and the need to ensure that safety precautions are strictly followed.
A recent report concerning California's economy reveals that the construction industry continues to grow and rebound after it crashed in 2006. Beginning in 2013, the construction industry has been experiencing a resurgence, and all signs suggest that this boom will continue for the next several years, both in the commercial and residential arenas. Industry insiders note "2016 is shaping up as a great year for construction."
California's Great America theme park in Santa Clara has been cited $70,200 for its role in creating a dangerous environment which led to a worker suffering serious personal injuries. The amusement park accident occurred this past summer. The ride mechanic, a 66-year-old man, was working at the Flight Deck Ride when he was struck by a train as he was retrieving a cell phone from a restricted area. According to the investigation the amusement park's owner - Cedar Fair Southwest - failed to have proper safety measures in place. This included the failure to ensure proper safety protocols existed to make sure that the roller coaster was not in operation when workers retrieved lost articles, and also to make sure that workers were trained to shut down the rides.
Cal/OSHA has cited a well water services company from Santa Maria for its role in causing an electrocution incident that killed one worker and seriously injured another. The accident occurred when a pump hoist came in contact with an energized overhead power line.
Two employers have been cited by Cal/OSHA as a result of their misconduct in continuing work - and exposing workers to cave-in hazards - after stop work orders were issued. The fines were in excess of $300,000. According to construction news, the two Northern California construction businesses had been instructed to cease working until the imminent hazards at the jobsite were abated. Cal/OSHA commented, "collapses and cave-ins cause serious workplace injuries and fatalities. These citations remind employers to abide by Cal/OSHA stop work orders that are issued to protect workers from unsafe conditions."