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Language barrier leads to construction accidents

| May 13, 2020 | Construction Site Injury |

A construction site is a dangerous place. Heavy machinery and hazardous job sites place workers in danger every day. One of the ways in which California employers can protect their workers from injury is by providing adequate safety training and clear instructions for completing the job safely. When an employee does not understand the basic precautions for avoiding injury, construction accidents may result.

Unfortunately, this situation recently occurred on a jobsite in another state. A group of Spanish-speaking workers began construction on an interstate bridge, including using wood and steel to brace and secure a bridge girder. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that the company did not train the workers how to install the massive girders. In fact, the printed plans and engineering drawings were in English, not in Spanish, which was the native language of most of the workers.

The consequence of this oversight was a tragic accident in which the incorrectly secured concrete beam slipped from its bracing and fell onto a 37-year-old worker. The victim left behind a wife and 4-year-old son. OSHA has fined the construction company almost $54,000 for numerous violations on the project. This marks the fifth employee to die on this project.

Since the construction accident involved many entities, contractors and subcontractors, it may be a challenge for surviving family members to know where to turn for compensation. This is often typical on large construction projects. Because of the many complex issues involved in construction accidents, it is wise for injured workers in California to consult with an attorney for guidance in pursuing the compensation they deserve.