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Workplace accidents: Toppled crane traps worker between K-rails

California workers who are involved in road construction work will always be at risk of suffering serious or fatal injuries. Workplace accidents in construction zones where safety hazards include cranes and other heavy-duty equipment are not uncommon. One such incident occurred recently in San Diego.

Both the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the California Highway Patrol responded to the accident which occurred around 1 a.m. on a recent Wednesday. An incident report indicates that a crane toppled over on a freeway ramp in South Park. It was reported that the crane was moving temporary concrete traffic barriers -- also known as K-rails.

One worker was trapped between two concrete barriers. His co-workers reportedly managed to extricate him from between the barriers before emergency crews arrived at the scene. According to the medics, the man suffered serious injuries to his leg, and he was rushed to a hospital in Hillcrest. CHP said traffic lanes were blocked for about five hours while another crane was brought in to reposition the one that caused the chaos.

The severity of this California worker's leg injury is unknown, but medical expenses may be substantial. He may be unable to return to work for an extended time, if at all. All this can cause havoc to a family's finances, but financial assistance may be pursued through the workers' compensation insurance system. This program allows victims of workplace accidents to file benefits claims to cover medical expenses; a percentage of the injured worker's latest wage level may be included as compensation for lost income. If the crane operator was an employee of a different company, the worker may be also be entitled to file a third-party personal injury claim in a civil court.

Source: kpbs.org, "Crane Accident Closes Freeway, Injures Person", Jan. 13, 2016

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