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Construction workers' accidents: 7,200-pound beam crushes worker

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the death of a worker who suffered a fatal on-the-job injury on a recent Monday morning. Construction workers' accidents that involve struck-by hazards are frequent causes of workplace deaths. Although few details were made available about this incident, it appears to have included such a hazard.

The incident report indicates that police officers responded after receiving a call shortly before 7 a.m. to report an accident on the premises of a construction business. Upon arrival, they found a worker who was crushed by an I-beam. Reportedly, a 50-foot I-beam that weighs 7,200 pounds struck the 35-year-old worker.

The man had already succumbed to his injuries when officers arrived at the scene. No information was available about the circumstances that led to the fatal strike, and Cal/OSHA has launched an investigation. Investigators will likely also determine whether noncompliance with safety regulations might have caused this preventable death. Although many construction workers' accidents involve struck-by hazards, it appears as if this victim was not an employee but a visitor to the premises of the construction company.

The California workers' compensation program typically pays death benefits to the surviving family members of those who lost their lives in construction workers' accidents. In cases such as this one, the family might also be entitled to file a third-party civil lawsuit. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assess the circumstances and explain the potential ways to seek recovery of damages. The lawyer can then provide the necessary support and guidance throughout ensuing procedures.

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