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Construction workers' accidents: Companies fined for man's death

Considering the required safety gear, inspections and training that is required to operate a construction site, it is well-known that they can be dangerous for workers. Sadly, when construction workers' accidents occur in California and across the country, they can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Recently two companies were fined in relation to the death of a worker on one of their job sites earlier this year.

Heavy winter rainstorms resulted in flooding and mudslides that made some highways impassable. Caltrans, a large and established construction company, subcontracted another company to help remove the mud from a highway Caltrans was working on. As a dump truck was backing up, the driver was not aware that two workers were behind it. The vehicle crushed them. One of the men was killed and the other suffered serious injuries. 

As with any work accident, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health inspected the accident. It found that the subcontractor had committed many safety violations, and fined both the subcontractor company and Caltrans. Both companies are planning to appeal the $50,000 in fines.

When construction workers' accidents result in death, it can be very difficult for surviving family members. In addition to grieving their loss, families often have to quickly learn to manage without their loved one's income contribution. Some family members are eligible to receive workers' compensation death benefits, which may help families as they struggle to come to terms with the tragedy, and California attorneys familiar with the complicated workers' compensation system can guide them through filing a claim.

Source: kqed.org, "Cal/OSHA Cites Two Companies, Caltrans in Deadly Accident After Santa Cruz County Mudslide", Ted Goldberg, Sept. 4, 2017

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