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New Job-Site Scrutiny Follows CA Deaths

Friday, June 6, 2014

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The deaths of four workers on four jobs in four days in California will be bringing more safety inspectors to construction work sites, regulators have announced.

Two of the four deaths occurred on the same day; all occurred in May.

Cal/OSHA, the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, will dispatch teams of inspectors across the San Francisco Bay region to determine whether adequate measures are being taken to identify hazards and prevent injuries, according to a May 27 announcement.

Cal-OSHA
Cal/OSHA

Inspectors will be examining work at heights, among other hazardous conditions.

“Construction sites present special challenges to worker safety,” said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations.

“Employers need to have strong safety programs in place and train their workers to follow procedures.”

The inspectors will be checking for fall protection and examining trench safety, equipment safety and potential hazards such as power lines, the agency said.

Recent Fatal Accidents

Cal/OSHA said elevated work sites were particularly dangerous. The agency cited four recent incidents now under investigation in the state:

  • A construction worker was killed May 18 when the train bridge he was dismantling in downtown Riverside collapsed and crushed him.
  • A worker on a San Mateo project fell nine feet from a wall May 20 and suffered fatal head injuries;
  • A worker in San Diego was killed May 20 when a 22-foot rebar column fell on top of him; and
  • A worker on a residential project in San Jose fell to his death May 21 from a three-story building;

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, and federal OSHA has designated June 2-6 as "National Fall Prevention Stand-Down" week to focus on fall prevention training nationwide.

Cal/OSHA has been participating in a number of stand-down events at construction sites statewide.

   

Tagged categories: Enforcement; Fall protection; Health and safety; Inspection; Regional; Regulations

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