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Construction workers' accidents below ground add complications

Working underground in California carries its own set of risk factors. First, lighting may be poor, preventing a worker from seeing dangers. The air quality may be tainted or too thin for normal breathing. The worker may also have to use special equipment for reaching the worksite, and that equipment may not be reliable. Finally, when construction workers' accidents occur below ground, rescue operations may be slow and difficult.

Recently, a crew was working on a well located on the private property of a residence under construction. The well was about 50 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter. One 27-year-old man was lowered into the well in a basket connected to a cable. For unknown reasons, the cable separated from the basket, and the man fell into the well.

Rescue workers responded and descended to where the man was lying face down in the dirty water at the bottom of the well. He was unresponsive, and rescuers quickly ascertained that they could not save him. It was unclear how far he had fallen into the well or if his death was caused by injuries he suffered in the fall or the lack of oxygen in the well.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. Meanwhile, the family of the deceased worker will certainly be dealing with their loss and figuring out how to make ends meet. After fatal construction workers' accidents, workers' compensation provides funeral expenses and financial assistance for family members. Many find it helpful to have an attorney by their side to ensure they receive the maximum benefits they deserve from these employer-paid insurance benefits.

Source: laist.com, "Construction Worker Dies After Falling 50-Feet Into Well", Matt Tinoco, Oct. 22, 2016

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