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Construction workers' accidents: Power line kills 1, injures 1

Overhead power cables pose multiple threats to workers in the construction industry. It is the responsibility of California company owners to provide adequate training to not only inform employees of the potential dangers but also teach them how to avoid construction workers' accidents. High voltage electric shocks typically cause catastrophic injuries that often result in death.

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, firefighters in another state were called to a site at which an apartment building was under construction. Reportedly, two employees of a construction company were moving scaffolding without taking note of the overhead power lines. When the scaffolding unintentionally touched the cables, an electric shock killed one worker. The second worker suffered critical injuries, and he was rushed to a hospital.

Reportedly, the county coroner's office is investigating the incident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will likely launch its own investigation as is common in all cases of fatal on-the-job accidents. While determining the circumstances that led to the worker's death, investigators will also assess the construction company's compliance with federal safety regulations.

If any safety violations are identified, OSHA will penalize the company, and although such enforcement may encourage the business owners to take appropriate steps to prevent construction workers' accidents, it will not help the injured worker nor the family of the deceased worker. Fortunately, California workers are covered by the workers' compensation insurance system. Compensation may be pursued by filing benefits claims that will cover medical and/or end-of-life expenses and a portion of lost wages, based on the most recent wage level of the deceased or injured worker.

Source: thestate.com, "One dead, one in critical condition in SE Richland County construction accident", Rachael Myers Lowe, March 8, 2016

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