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Construction accident sends several workers to hospital

A parking garage under construction partially collapsed recently in another city in California, sending up to 20 workers falling 15 feet in to wet concrete below them. Some of those near the site said it sounded like a bomb going off when the structure crumbled.

Amazingly, none of the workers appeared to have suffered serious injuries, although some complain of back strains and other issues. According to one report, 12 workers were taken to the hospital after the accident, although sources described this as a precautionary step.

Eyewitness accounts suggest that the poles holding the scaffolding structure fell without warning. Investigators were planning to inspect the scene carefully, but no one could point to an obvious reason why the structure came down so unexpectedly.

According to reports, one subcontractor which crews on the site has had some history for workplace safety investigations following accidents. However, there was only one serious violation, which was from 2015 and appeared to be for a reason unrelated to unstable or dangerous structures.

One of the dangers construction workers in the San Diego face is the possibility that scaffolding or even part of a building which they are working on might suddenly give way. Since these structures are usually incomplete, they are more likely to be unstable. Construction accidents can easily happen if an employer does not exercise the utmost care in such situations. While this thankfully did not happen in this case, these accidents can easily lead to serious injuries or even prove deadly.

After a construction accident, a worker or his or her family might not know where to turn for critical financial support. These people should remember, though, that California's workers' compensation system is available to help employees and their families cover medical bills and lost wages.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland construction accident: 9 workers hurt in collapse," Sarah Ravani and Kimberly Veklerov, "May 27, 2017

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