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Worker suffers fatal injuries when unstable wall collapses

Construction company owners in California have a significant responsibility to assess construction sites carefully before every shift. If potential safety hazards are not identified and addressed, workers can suffer life-threatening or even fatal injuries. Changing weather conditions can cause unsafe areas overnight, and they may be missed if site inspections are not carried out.

An employee of a utility construction company in another state lost his life on a recent Saturday at a site where a working crew was installing traffic signal wiring. For reasons not yet determined, a wall collapsed onto the 37-year-old worker. He was declared dead at the site of the incident.

The safety director of the company said the recent rainfall may have caused the soil underneath the wall to be unstable. The incident is being investigated by the company, and as is usual with workplace fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate. OSHA investigators will likely look at the company's compliance with safety regulations, and they may also look into the fact that the unstable area below the wall where the workers had to work was not identified and addressed appropriately during a site inspection.

When a family of a construction worker has to cope with his or her death after suffering fatal workplace injuries, the financial consequences naturally increase the trauma. However, financial relief is available and can be pursued through the California workers' compensation insurance system. While the program's death benefits can never erase the heartache, they may relieve the financial burden caused by end-of-life expenses and lost wages.

Source: tampabay.com, "Concrete wall falls, kills construction worker at site off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard", April 9, 2016

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