Edgar Gonzalez, 30, who was working on a construction project at the Hyperion waste water treatment plant sustained fatal job injuries after a 30-foot fall. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the accident occurred at the plant on Vista del Mar, near El Segundo, the afternoon of Aug. 2, 2011. The man had been erecting a wall panel at the plant and was trying to secure the top when he fell.
Investigators from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, are looking into the cause of this tragic accident. The man was not a Hyperion employee, but worked for USS Cal Builders, an Orange County-based general contractor. Hyperion officials say this is the first construction-related fatality at that plant since it was first modernized in the 1950s.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the fatally injured worker. His grieving family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Fall-Related Fatality Statistics
According to the Cal-OSHA statistics, there were 84 construction-accident related fatalities in California in 2005. A total of 59 people died in California in 2005 in construction and industrial accidents involving falls from a higher elevation. Falls are also the leading cause of catastrophic injuries in the construction industry.
Possible Causes for the Fall
I trust Cal-OSHA investigators are looking into how and why this fatal accident occurred. There are many questions that remain unanswered here. How did the man fall down? Were all safety procedures being followed? Was his fall the result of a loose railing or some other defective structure or product that gave way? Were there any fall safety mechanisms in place? For example, was the worker wearing a harness? Federal and state regulations require all workers who are operating on higher elevations to be equipped with fall safety devices. I trust investigators are looking into these and other issues in order to determine how this incident occurred and how it could have been prevented.
Claim for Compensation
In this particular case, the victim’s family can receive workers compensation benefits from his employer. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can also help the family look into whether there is a “third-party claim” here. These are basically claims filed against a party that is not the victim’s employer. A third party could be a contractor, sub-contractor, premises owner, or even the manufacturer of a defective product. These types of claims are typically worth a lot more to families than workers compensation benefits, which can be woefully inadequate.
|Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles|
Employees who suffer serious workplace injuries can experience long periods of recovery, and are put in a very tough position if they do not have long-term disability insurance. Do you feel employers should be required to provide long-term disability?