Construction sites in the San Francisco Bay area have gotten Cal/OSHA’s attention, following a recent series of fatal accidents in the region. According to a press release, investigators will be deployed to inspect construction worksites throughout the coming weeks to determine whether adequate measures have been taken to identify safety hazards and prevent injury.
“Construction sites present special challenges to worker safety,” says Christine Baker, director of the department of industrial relations (DIR). “Employers need to have strong safety programs in place and train their workers to follow procedures.” Cal/OSHA is a division of DIR.
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, and on 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.
Fall protection will be among the items Cal/OSHA inspectors will be checking during its inspections, as falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers. 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.