When a worker suffers a serious injury at a job site, such as a crush injury, there is typically an investigation to look into the cause of the accident. These types of investigations can take weeks and even months. Often the first concern is whether the area is safe for workers to return to work.
What happens if a work site or work environment is deemed unsafe for workers to return? Are there processes in place to ensure that employers mitigate safety concerns before allowing workers back onsite?
After a recent tragedy on the construction site for a new stadium for the 49ers, workers were allowed back to work. Safety officials gave the green light, acknowledging that the jobsite is safe. However, two investigations are ongoing into the recent accidents that resulted in two work deaths.
OSHA is investigating the death of an elevator mechanic in early June. The second and more recent investigation is looking into the death of a truck driver who was crushed by the rebar he was transporting. Officials have ruled out any type of criminal conduct and are now determining whether the truck driver’s death could have been prevented.
For those who knew these workers, the hardest part will be dealing with their deaths. In addition to investigating both incidents, workers will also have access to on-site support to help process through the loss of their colleagues.
For the families of the victims, the loss of a loved one is a frustrating and confusing time. Hopefully the investigation will provide the families of these workers with answers to some of the questions they may have.
Source: NPR.org, “2nd Worker Dies At 49ers Stadium Construction Site,” Oct. 15, 2013.