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3 Workers suffered temporary disability after bridge collapse

Upon completion of the investigation into the January collapse of the falsework on a bridge bypass on Highway 101 in Mendocino County, the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to all three companies that were involved in the construction. Investigators found that the falsework collapsed due to a design error. Multiple workers were on top of the structure, 25 feet up, and one was below when the accident happened. Three workers suffered temporary disability as the result of the injuries they suffered.

Many workers were injured in this incident and released after treatment. However, three men suffered injuries severe enough to keep them from work for many months. One is a 31-year-old man whose pelvis was crushed. Two others, ages 52 and 57, suffered multiple bone fractures.

It was reported that the accident scene, as observed the morning after the collapse, resembled a massive pile of concrete, lumber and steel. A team of structural engineers was tasked with separating the materials in order to perform an analysis that might lead to a better understanding of the failure of the falsework. That report is not available yet, but Cal/OSHA has since held all three companies responsible for the workers' injuries.

California workers who have suffered workplace injuries resulting in temporary disability are likely concerned about their inability to work and provide for their families. Fortunately, most California workers are covered by workers' compensation, which provides injured workers with aid to relieve their financial concerns. Benefits typically cover medical expenses, along with a financial package comprised of a percentage of lost wages.

Source: lostcoastoutpost.com, "State Agency Cites Caltrans, Contractors for 'Serious Violations' Leading to Willits Bypass Collapse", Jennifer Poole, July 24, 2015

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