Safety on the job is often a top concern, especially when the job is inherently dangerous. Providing well-maintained equipment and appropriate personal protection is the minimum many employers in California do to ensure the well-being of their workers. When cutting corners to save expenses, those are items few would sacrifice. However, when workplace accidents result in investigations regarding the safety procedures of a company, there may be many unanswered questions.
Recently, a father and son were working for a contracting company painting a bridge as part of a restoration project. For reasons unknown, the two men fell from the scaffolding between 40 and 50 feet to a platform below. The workers were taken to the hospital in serious condition, leaving their co-workers filled with concern.
Workers also expressed their frustration and lack of surprise at the incident. They have felt the project was unsafe from the beginning, that the scaffolding was unstable and the protective gear inadequate. In fact, last year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration received a complaint of holes in the scaffolding on the same job site. A member of the painters' union suggests that, because the company underbid for the project, it may be cutting costs at the expense of the workers.
Like California employees who are injured in workplace accidents, the two men in this situation can rely on workers' compensation to cover their medical bills and lost wages. They may also require temporary disability benefits, depending on the extent of their injuries. A workers' compensation attorney can help injured workers claim the maximum benefits for which they are eligible.
Source: katu.com, "Bridge workers worry about job site safety after two men fall about 40 feet", Jackie Labrecque, Feb. 10, 2017