December 14, 2017
Construction workers regularly face risks in their work, including risks of building collapses and falls from great heights. Two construction workers were recently taken to the hospital because a building collapsed while they were working on it. Meanwhile, three contractors were fined more than $140,000 for an incident in May in which 13 construction workers were injured. Luckily for all involved in the two separate incidents, no one suffered fatal injuries.
Construction Workers Taken to Hospital
Two construction workers were taken to the hospital after a building they were working on collapsed, trapping them both. The construction workers were onsite at a building at 2005 Cleveland Ave. when the building collapsed. Both were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. One was treated for a facial laceration and the other for a leg injury. A third worker complained of minor back injuries but did not go to the hospital.
Merritt Construction held the contract to frame the building. It was while roof trusses were being placed that the building collapsed. Both the Santa Rosa Building Division and Cal OSHA are investigating the building failure.
OSHA Cites Three Contractors for Construction Injuries
On December 14, CAL OSHA announced it was fining three contractors more than $147,000 in total for their role in a formwork collapse that sent construction workers plummeting 20 feet. Thirteen of those workers were taken to the hospital, with one requiring surgery for his injuries. Luckily for the workers, they landed on freshly-poured concrete, which softened their fall.
The incident happened on May 26 in Oakland’s Pill Hill neighborhood at around 9:30 a.m. As workers poured concrete, the scaffolding they were on fell, taking with it the workers, reinforcing steel, timber, and tools. Most of the injuries involved cuts, bruises, and strains.
An investigation into the accident found that the formwork and shoring system were not properly designed, installed or inspected. Largo Concrete, Inc., and N.M.N. Construction, Inc., faced the highest fines–more than $70,000 each–for serious violations, including failing to ensure the formwork and shoring were properly designed to withstand intended loads and failing to ensure the shoring was erected on a stable base.
“Significant safety lapses caused injuries that could have been much worse if the workers hadn’t landed in freshly poured concrete,” said Cal OSHA Chief Juliann Sum in a statement. “Employers must identify, evaluate and correct unsafe working conditions and follow all requirements to prevent employee injuries and illnesses.”
Construction Fatalities on the Rise
According to a report from Worksafe, in 2015–the most recent year figures are available for–6.8 people per 100,000 full-time workers died in construction-related accidents, the highest construction fatality rate since 2005 and an increase of 34 percent from 2014. Those fatality rates do not include serious injuries or fatalities linked to occupational illness.
At Cutter Law, P.C., our attorneys are experienced at helping workers injured in construction accidents receive the compensation they’re entitled to. If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident and suffered a construction injury, contact one of our attorneys today for a no-obligation consultation. We’re available to answer your questions and advise you of your rights.