All construction sites pose safety hazards, regardless of how careful the project is planned. Some of the most frequently reported workplace injuries in this industry are fall-related. Slips or trips can cause falls from elevated construction areas, and in many cases, workers are struck by objects that cause them to fall. For that reason, employers must provide workers with fall arrest harnesses, which might prevent tragedies such as the recent one in San Diego.
Shortly after school district officials celebrated the imminent hoisting of the highest beam of an Event Center under construction at a high school in San Diego, a worker was struck by a beam that knocked him off the 30-foot elevated platform. The 30-year-old worker fell to the ground, and he was rushed to an area hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries. Reportedly, a second worker was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening.
The investigators of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will investigate the incident. It is not known whether the workers wore fall protection to arrest their falls. Compliance with safety standards will be assessed as part of this investigation, and safety violations will lead to citations and proposed fines. The agency has six months to complete the inquiry.
Victims of workplace injuries, or the families of those who suffered fatal injuries, need not wait for the outcome of the Cal/OSHA investigation to be completed before they file workers’ compensation benefits claims. The program is a no-fault system, and compensation is typically paid regardless of who was at fault. An experienced San Diego workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the navigation of claims for benefits to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and end-of-life expenses when applicable.