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Construction Site Injuries

Construction Worker Killed at Moscone Center

By Kelly Balamuth on July 16, 2018

You may recall a recent story in the news where a construction worker, who was operating a hydraulic crane commonly referred to as a “cherry picker,” was killed in a workplace accident at Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. According to the police department, the man, who was there to pick up a high-reach boom on behalf of a machinery rental company, was crushed between the heavy device and a concrete slab. Emergency workers pronounced him dead on the scene. Read the rest »

Construction Worker in Benicia Recovering after Steel Beam Accident

By Kelly Balamuth on January 2, 2013

A young construction worker is recovering in the hospital after a three-ton steel beam fell onto his legs while working in Benicia. The Benicia Patch reports that the man had been pinned underneath the beam for about a minute after falling from its chain-and-hook grip while being lifted with a crane. A co-worker used the crane to move the colossal steel beam off of the victim, and fire crews responded to the report around 9:20 a.m. at the Unico Mechanical Corp.

Fire crews provided care to the man, who remained alert and conscious, and was then transported to the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The young worker suffered severe injuries to both legs but is fortunately expected to survive. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will survey the accident site to determine whether it will conduct an investigation, according to a spokesman.

Unico Mechanical is a heavy industrial machine shop that provides services including restorations, repairs, and part manufacturing.

A construction accident of any kind has the potential to seriously injure workers and leave them with a lengthy, and often painful, road to recovery. The Solano County construction accident injury lawyers of Balamuth Law understand the serious nature of construction site injuries and the need for proper benefits in order to get the appropriate medical treatment needed to recuperate.

To see how we can help you recover after a construction accident, call (888) 254-1234.

Crane Accident in Santa Barbara Slows Traffic on Highway 101

By Kelly Balamuth on November 15, 2012

A crane accident in Southern California slowed traffic for hours the evening of November 13 when the crane’s support system broke. As reported by KEYT.com, the accident occurred in Santa Barbara on the northbound 101 freeway between the Salinas Street exit and Hot Springs Road around 5 p.m. when the two-ton crane was returning from a construction job in Montecito. The dolly, which was the crane’s support system, broke and overturned, causing the driver of the vehicle to slam into a guardrail. The driver was fortunately able to retain control of the crane and steer it to the edge of the road, and the driver was unharmed in the incident.

The crane, reported to be a five-axle 160 Tonne Liebherr LTM1160, belonged to Specialty Crane & Rigging. During the accident, the crane remained upright while the three axle dolly flipped over. The cause of the accident is said to be structural failure.

This crane accident marks the third road accident involving trailing boom dollies in Southern California in the past five years, with the other two involving a fatality and an injury. This accident luckily avoided such issues and, despite rush hour traffic, no injuries were reported and no other vehicles were involved in the collision. Following the accident, the recovery was completed relatively quickly with the help of another crane.

A number of regions, including California, require trailing boom configurations to move large cranes on the highway in order to spread and lower axle weights. Crane safety managers have, however, campaigned against their use on the basis that they are dangerous.

Construction accidents always have the potential to cause serious injuries and possibly fatalities, and crane accidents in particular are dangerous simply because of the sheer weight of this type of equipment. At Balamuth Law, our crane accident attorneys in California understand the severe risks construction workers face on a daily basis and know the devastating results when there is an accident. For assistance getting compensation after you have been injured in a crane accident, call our legal team at (888) 254-1234.

Construction Crane Topples Over in San Francisco, No Injuries Reported

By Kelly Balamuth on August 30, 2012

A construction crane toppled over in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, leaving authorities to say it was a “miracle” no one was injured. According to a KTVU.com news report, the crane was at a construction site located at Ellis and Leavenworth in downtown San Francisco and was being used in the renovation of the Arlington Hotel. The crane collapsed around 7:40 a.m., taking down scaffolding on the building and a street light, as well as hitting the back end of a pickup truck that was on the street. Passersby in the area also went scrambling for safety, according to police, but fortunately no injuries were reported.

The crane accident kept the intersection closed to traffic as police continued their investigation. Local police will make a report about the incident in order to share information with the city’s Department of Building Inspections, which was also investigating the incident. The report does indicate that Cal/OSHA, the Division that protects workers and the public from safety hazards, was not called to the scene. The city of San Francisco is seeing a recent construction boom, requiring the city to supervise multiple projects to prevent dangerous accidents, such as this crane collapse.

Any equipment used at a construction site can pose a danger not only to construction site workers, but also to individuals in the surrounding area. Cranes especially may be dangerous as they are one of the largest and heaviest mechanical devices at a site, and a number of factors, such as the weather or a mechanical failure, can cause a serious accident. If you have been injured in a crane accident, the crane accident attorneys in Walnut Creek with Balamuth Law can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover. Call (888) 254-1234 for a no-cost consultation on your case.

Construction Zone Accidents Can Harm Both Workers and Motorists

By Kelly Balamuth on January 23, 2012

Construction zones can be difficult and dangerous places, whether you’re trying to drive through them or work in them. Every year, about 700 people die in construction zone car crashes, and over 100 of these are construction workers. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California frequently tops the list of states with the most construction zone fatalities each year, along with Texas and Florida.

construction zoneWithin the entire construction industry, workers killed in road construction zones account for about eight percent of construction-site-related deaths each year. Most of these workers lose their lives when they are struck by some kind of moving vehicle – either a passenger or commercial vehicle trying to navigate the construction zone, or a construction vehicle working at the site.

Collisions between a vehicle and a construction worker on foot were more likely to take the worker’s life than collisions between a construction vehicle and a private vehicle. However, both types of collisions typically account for one-third to one-half of the construction worker deaths each year in California and the nation as a whole. Workers are also at risk from vehicles jackknifing or overturning, accidents in parking lots or on the side of construction zones, and common construction accidents like being struck by a heavy object.

Construction accidents can cause serious injuries. While workers’ compensation may cover some bills, it may also be important to hold any negligent third parties accountable for their actions as well. At Balamuth Harrington, our dedicated Walnut Creek construction accident attorneys are focused on giving injured workers the help they need after an accident. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential telephone consultation.

Oakland Construction Accident Risks

By Kelly Balamuth on September 28, 2011

Because of the inherent physical risks due to dangerous machinery, precarious environments, and unpredictable mishaps, the construction industry ranks among the most dangerous occupational settings in urban environments like Oakland and other areas in Northern California.

For every 100,000 workers in construction, 3.3 full time employees are injured. In fact, 2009 had the most deaths on the job with 816 fatal accidents, translating to about 19 percent of total workplace injuries that year.

Even though professional supervision of construction sites is mandated by federal and local governments, the workplace can pose serious dangers on a daily basis. And, it is not uncommon upon legal investigation to find that a construction accident was the fault of deficient supervision, training, or other factors that the company on-site was required to provide.

Specifically, injuries may occur due to:

  • Heavy lifting;
  • Trench digging;
  • Electrical accidents;
  • Use of power tools;
  • Falls from scaffolding;
  • Incidents involving a crane; and
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Particular injuries that may occur include, but are not limited to:

  • Spinal cord trauma;
  • Paralysis;
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Electrical shocks;
  • Broken bones or fractures;
  • Burn trauma; and
  • Amputation.

Too often, corporations and responsible parties (contractors, subcontractors, managers, and others) take hazardous short cuts to meet deadlines or to generate more income. It is the workers who pay the ultimate cost. Proving these cases in court can be tricky, especially when up against a corporation’s legal team, but if you’ve been injured in an accident, the Oakland construction accident lawyers with Balamuth Harrington will assist and guide you along the best possible path to compensation. Call 1-888-254-1234 for a free case review today.

Reducing Ladder Accidents at Northern California Construction Sites

By Kelly Balamuth on February 23, 2011

The construction industry has the highest fatality rate among all industries in the country. Many of those construction fatalities involve falls, and many of those falls that occur involve ladders. However, if you follow a few safety tips from the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA), ladder accidents can be greatly reduced.

The potential hazards involved in ladder use aren’t limited to falls from ladders. Construction workers could potentially be struck by falling ladders or materials from ladders or could trip over ladders. Workers could also suffer an injury while carrying a heavy ladder or could hit people while carrying a ladder.

To make ladder use safer in your workplace, and to help prevent San Francisco construction falls, you first need to set up some safe practices for their use. Choose the right ladder for each job, and always inspect a ladder before using it. If you must use a long or heavy ladder, get assistance. If there will be a high volume of traffic where the ladder will be used, have someone hold it to steady it. While climbing a ladder, face forward and maintain three-point contact. Do not carry materials in your hands while climbing. You should also not allow more than one person to climb a ladder at the same time.

As part of your ladder safety program, set up a regular system for maintenance. This includes inspecting the ladders for common defects, prohibiting the painting of ladders (which can hide cracks), and prohibiting repairs that include binding with wire. If a ladder cannot be safely repaired, it should not be used. If you follow these simple steps, the risk of ladder accidents at your Northern California construction site can be greatly reduced.

Employers have a duty to maintain a safe workplace for employees, and if they fail to do so, they could be held responsible for any workplace accidents and injuries that occur as a result of their negligence. If you have been injured while working at a construction site in Northern California, contact the Northern California construction accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington. Call us today at 1-888-254-1234 to learn more about your rights.

OSHA Construction Worker Safety Tips

By Kelly Balamuth on December 20, 2010

At any given time, approximately 6.5 million people are working at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the United States, according to the Occupational & Safety Health Administration (OSHA). Unfortunately, the fatality rate for the construction industry is higher than for any other industry.

OSHA offers some valuable tips for construction workers about staying safe while on the job to prevent construction accidents from occurring. First, always wear the right personal protective equipment for the job, which can include protection for the face and eyes, feet, hands, and head. Make sure the equipment is maintained in good condition and that it fits properly.

Be careful when using scaffolding. Approximately 4,500 workers are injured, and 50 are killed, each year from accidents that involve scaffolding. Make sure the scaffolding is properly maintained and set on sound footing. The scaffolding should not be altered. It should not be used in bad weather or if covered with snow, ice, or any other slippery material. A scaffold should hold only the weight it was designed to support.

Electrical accidents are also a frequent source of injuries for construction workers. Make sure that damaged electrical cords are replaced quickly. Don’t put ladders or other equipment or materials within 10 feet of power lines. Maintain all electrical tools and equipment in safe condition and check regularly for defects.

Also, beware of elevated surfaces. Put guardrails around any surface that has been elevated more than 48 inches above the ground. Post signs showing the load capacity of the elevated surface. All elevated surfaces need to have four inch toe boards.

Have you been injured in a construction accident in Northern California? If so, you may have a claim against your employer and could receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the Northern California construction accident injury attorneys at Balamuth Harrington at 888-254-1234 today for a free consultation on your case.

Construction Worker Injured on Caldecott Tunnel

By Kelly Balamuth on November 10, 2010

According to SFGate.com, a construction worker was injured on the Caldecott Tunnel early Wednesday morning, November 3. The construction worker was helping build a section of the tunnel’s fourth bore when concrete became loose and fell on the worker at approximately 6:58 a.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the worker was taken to a local hospital with several lacerations. The injuries are reported to be non-life-threatening. According to a CHP spokesperson, it isn’t known whether the injured construction worker worked for a subcontractor or was an employee of the state department of transportation.

The East Bay construction injury accident occurred on the Orinda side of the tunnel. The concrete had been set on Tuesday.

The Caldecott Tunnel is on Highway 24 and runs between Oakland and Orinda. Currently the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA), the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are in a collaborative partnership to add a two-lane fourth tunnel bore to the existing Caldecott tunnel to relieve traffic congestion. The project is expected to take about four years to finish.

Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 4,340 work-related fatalities in 2009. Based on this number, the fatal work injury rate for workers in the U.S. was about 3.3 per 100,000 full-time workers in 2009. Approximately one-fifth of these fatalities were in the construction industry. In 2008, there were 5,214 fatal work injuries, with a rate of about 3.7 per 100,000 full-time workers. California reported 404 work-related fatalities in 2008 and 461 in 2007. State work-related death statistics are not yet available for 2009.

If you have been injured in a construction accident in Northern California, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, loss of present and future wages, pain and suffering, and more. The skilled Orinda construction accident lawyers at Balamuth Harrington, LLP will work to hold negligent businesses and/or contractors liable for their actions that caused your injuries. For more information and a free consultation of your Northern California construction accident case, please contact our law office today at 888-254-1234.

Construction Accident Takes Boy’s Life in Northern California

By Kelly Balamuth on September 17, 2010

With building materials strewn about and structures far from stable, construction sites are never completely safe. Because of this, construction companies and foremen have a significant responsibility to ensure that all individuals visiting a construction site, both employees and non-employees, are properly protected from the many dangers that present themselves. Unfortunately, according to San Jose’s Mercury News, an 8-year-old boy was killed by a passing forklift while visiting his father’s welding firm in Northern California.

Regardless of the type of workplace, business owners and facilities managers need to take all necessary precautions in order to minimize the risk of injury to employees and workplace visitors. If a business owner negligently fails to fix a potential hazard or to maintain workplace equipment in a safe manner, then a person injured by that negligence may be able to seek compensatory damages from the negligent party to help cover the costs associated with the injury, such as medical bills and lost wages for time away from work. In all Northern California construction accident and premises liability cases, the services of a skilled personal injury attorney should be enlisted to ensure that the injury victim’s rights are protected.

At Balamuth Harrington, LLP, our experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys have assisted many clients with claims made against negligent contractors and building owners. For more information on which steps you can take in your Northern California premises liability case, please contact us for a free evaluation of your case. Call 888-254-1234 today.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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