The majority of the time, any kind of construction work, both commercial and residential, goes off without a hitch. Most every California company adheres to strict safety codes and standards, along with training for those on the job. There are other times when safety codes or standards are not followed through with, and workers can find themselves in danger. Recently, three construction workers each suffered a serious work injury, leading to an investigation and troubling questions about the company.
The three workers were on the roof of the house on a scaffolding. The scaffolding broke off from underneath their feet. This sent the men tumbling to the ground below, where they landed on concrete. The men, who ranged in ages from 24 to 58, were treated for broken bones and also internal injuries. The injuries were reported as life-threatening.
OSHA is investigating the San Francisco incident. Initial reports indicate there were several safety violations at the scene of the accident. The Department of Building Inspection spokesman indicated that there appears to be no work permits for the job on file. The particular company at the heart of this incident also has had a number of other violations in the past, including past scaffolding accidents. An investigation could lead to criminal charges also.
Regardless of the status of any potential criminal complaint, the workers who suffered the serious work injury have rights under California workers' compensation law. The work injury may lead to extensive medical bills and significant lost wages. Under the law, the workers will not likely have to endure the brunt of those bills and effects of the lost wages either. Any worker who works in a dangerous industry or who has questions about the safety of the job site they are on may benefit from knowing their rights and protections under the law.
Source: sfgate.com, 3 workers hurt in S.F. scaffolding collapse, Vivian Ho, Jan. 24, 2014