Construction work, like many other types of professions involving manual labor, carries a certain amount of risk. Many construction accidents in California that occur on roadways are the result of vehicles striking workers. In the case of three construction workers injured on the job in Willits, however, injuries occurred because of an apparently unsound wooden structure that collapsed.
The accident occurred in January of this year on Mendocino County's Highway 101, where Caltrans has been working on a project to construct an alternate route around Willits. More specifically, the job was being performed by workers from Flatiron, a Caltrans contractor. At the time of the accident, workers were pouring concrete atop a 25-foot wooden structure, when 150 feet of highway construction collapsed beneath them. As a result, two workers suffered multiple fractures and another escaped with a broken pelvis.
Cal/OSHA, which recently issued fines for the incident, claimed that the structure was designed and erected improperly. Furthermore, it claimed that these deficiencies were overlooked by the project engineer, who may also be at fault. In total, Cal/OSHA issued $165,000 in fines to Flatiron and DeSilva Gates, which is another contractor on the Willits project.
In the state of California, a worker who is injured on the job is entitled to file for workers' compensation. A successful workers' compensation claim may help to offset the high cost of medical bills and lost pay due to the inability to work during the recovery period. Workers may choose to consult an attorney who is experienced in dealing with workers' compensation cases for guidance.
Source: abc7news.com, "State issues fines in connection with Willits Freeway collapse", Dan Ashley, July 27, 2015