Cal/OSHA is focusing on safety compliance at construction sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, following a recent series of fatal accidents in the region.
Investigators have been deployed to inspect construction worksites throughout the coming weeks to determine whether adequate measures have been taken to identify safety
hazards and prevent injury.
Hazards at construction sites include open trenches and moving equipment at ground
level, but elevated areas are particularly dangerous.
Four recent incidents in California illustrate the danger. On May 21, a worker at a residential project in San Jose fell to his death from a three-story building. On May 20, a worker on a San Mateo project tumbled 9 feet from a wall sustaining fatal head injuries. The same day in San Diego, a worker near the top of 22-foot rebar column was killed when the column fell on him. On May 18, a construction worker was killed when the train bridge he was dismantling in downtown Riverside collapsed, crushing him. All four accidents are currently under investigation by Cal/OSHA.
Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, which is one reason why
the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has designated June 2-6 as “National Safety Stand-Down” week to encourage employers to talk with workers about fall hazards and prevention.
Fall protection will be among the items Cal/OSHA inspectors will be checking during its
inspections, from railings on buildings to personal devices such as hooks that attach to vests.
Cal/OSHA’s teams will also examine trench safety, equipment safety and potential site hazards such as power lines. If inspectors find a lack of protection or a serious hazard, they can stop work at the site until the hazards are abated.
Employers who fail to comply with Cal/OSHA safety regulations will be cited and ordered to correct the violations.
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