A delivery truck driver died on Monday after he was crushed by a steel rebar being unloaded at the new 49ners stadium construction site.
The victim, Edward Lake II, 60, died as he was unloading a bundle of rebar set to be used in the construction of the new $1.2 billion stadium. Both state and local authorities investigated the incident, and the lead construction manager halted work on the project for the remainder of Monday. The death is the second to take place at the site in four months. According to the contractor, employees would resume work on Tuesday and take part in safety meetings and be offered counseling.
It is unclear whether OSHA will cite the contracting company for the incident. The prior fatal incident, according to OSHA investigators, did not warrant a formal citation as the incident was deemed “unexplained.”
More than 4,000 workers suffer fatal work injuries each year in the United States according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). National statistics continue to show the construction industry as the most hazardous work environment for individuals, with construction site injuries occurring nearly three times the rate of any other industry in the United States.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
Nearly 20% of all occupational injuries occur in the construction industry. Falls accounted for 35% of deaths, followed by struck by an object (10%), electrocutions (9%), and caught in-between injuries (2%). Considering the statistics, these “fatal four” accounted for more than 55% of all construction worker deaths in 2011.
In addition these ten standards were the 10 most frequently violated and cited by OSHA:
1. Fall protection
2. Hazard communication 3. Scaffolding 4. Respiratory protection 5. Control of hazardous energy 6. Powered industrial trucks 7. Electrical, wiring methods, and equipment component malfunction 8. Ladders 9. Machines 10. Electrical systems design
By OSHA standards, employers are responsible for ensuring safe work environments for all of his or her employees and preventing hazardous situations that pose the threat of serious bodily injury or death.
When an individual is injured or killed on the job, by law the employer must report the incident to OSHA for a complete investigation. Additionally in Massachusetts, when a worker suffers a workplace injury, he or she is supposed to be covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits. These benefits are supposed to guarantee a worker and his or her family compensation for medical bills, disability payments and lost wages, as well as compensation for permanent injuries, disfigurement, or scars. Acquiring these benefits can sometimes be challenging, and it is most advised that you speak to a licensed Workers’ Compensation Attorney to discuss your options after you have been involved in a workplace incident.
At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our team of experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys have nearly five decades of experience handling workers’ compensation and work injury cases. We will thoroughly investigate your work injury case and examine all avenues of recovery for you, including helping you access the finest healthcare available in the Commonwealth. Additionally, we will determine whether other parties are liable for your injury, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or a negligent contractor, and we can file claims or lawsuits against all negligent parties so that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was the victim of a workplace injury, do not hesitate to call one of the seasoned attorneys at Altman & Altman. Our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you and all initial consultations are free and confidential.