A portion of Highway 99 in Merced County is under construction. Teichert Construction, a family owned business, was handling the project. On July 30, the company lost one of its own in a construction accident.
Teichert Construction has been in business in California for over 125 years. The company is responsible for building infrastructures such as sidewalks, roads, freeways, curbs, gutters and utility trenches. It prides itself on a commitment to the safety of its employees.
So it came as a shock when one of the company's workers became pinned between some concrete and a heavy piece of equipment. By the time he was freed and emergency personnel were able to examine him, he was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The California division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will have six months to investigate the accident.
The company has issued a statement that it is keeping in touch with the man's family and the company employees. The victim's family will most likely be eligible for survivor's benefits through the state-regulated workers' compensation program. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the family may also be able to file a wrongful death claim against any third party – apart from the worker’s employer or co-workers -- whose negligence is deemed to have caused or contributed to the fatality.
Construction workers go into their work knowing that it can be dangerous. The hope is that they are given the proper safety equipment and training to do whatever possible to minimize the risk of being involved in a construction accident. It is an unfortunate truth that regardless of how much training and preparation is done to keep construction workers safe, accidents do happen.
Source: Merced Sun-Star, "Highway worker killed in Merced County ID'd as Lodi man," July 31, 2013