Companies should always adhere to safety standards at construction sites. Even the smallest oversight in compliance with work safety rules at a construction site can result in disastrous consequences in California. Not only can this cause physical injury or even death for a worker, but also it can result in legal problems for an employer, which may require an employer defense strategy.
One construction company is now facing this issue following a recent construction accident. The incident occurred when a trench wall unexpectedly collapsed. One worker was injured and had to be rescued after being buried in an avalanche of dirt. Rescue crews only discovered the worker because his feet were sticking out of the dirt.
Another worker ended up dying after being buried in the collapse of the trench. The decedent was only a few yards away from where rescue workers had freed the surviving construction worker. The accident happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. one day in mid-May. The surviving worker was airlifted to a nearby hospital in order to undergo treatment for his injuries.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will now be looking into the accident. OSHA has stated that it does appear that safety equipment was not properly being utilized. However, the investigation is still underway. As of now, OSHA has not issued any citations for safety violations.
As with any construction accident in California, the employer will want to be paying close attention to what OSHA discovers during the investigation. It may be necessary for the construction company to take action to implement an employer defense against any citations or allegations of wrongdoing. Therefore, it will be important to understand all of the applicable laws and how they apply to a particular situation.
Source: nola.com, “Man buried in construction pit pulled out alive; co-worker dead“, James Varney, May 21, 2015