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Carpenter Safety Matters

By Kelly Balamuth on February 13, 2013

Carpenters take pride in their craftsmanship. They are proud of the history of the carpenters’ union which established health care benefits for members. At Balamuth Law, our lawyers respect the hard-working man. We know the importance of caring for carpenters’ families in uncertain times.

As reported in The Northern California Carpenter, the official newspaper of the carpenters’ regional council of Northern California, Chester Bartalini, chief executive officer of the Bay Counties District Council of Carpenters from 1959 through 1961, led the carpenters’ strike that set up the very first pension plan and vacation programs for carpenters. He started the apprenticeship program still ongoing to this day and won health care for his brothers.

External Pressure

Carpenters should never have to put up with on-the-job carelessness or with safety hazards. They should never have to give in to outside pressure for faster work at the expense of safety. When carpenters are asked to work in an unsafe manner, they have the responsibility to speak up. Talk to the job foreman or take the issue up the chain of command. If your crew members determine that you are being asked to work unsafely, speaking up as a group may change the mind of the boss who made the request.


Unfortunately, there are times when carpenters fail to look out for one another. Carelessness on the job can include the following:

  • Failing to clean up your place as you work or being careless in the clean up
  • Forming bad habits that involve the unsafe taking of shortcuts
  • Being in too much of a hurry to finish a job or to take thetime to do the job well
  • Carelessness related to boredom or to fatigue

Carelessness on the construction site may result in lost wages, personal injuries, time spent in physical therapy, etc. If you have been hurt on the job due to another’s carelessness, call the Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Law. Call (888) 254-1234 to learn how we can help you today.

Golden Gate Bridge May Have New Speed Limits For Bicyclists

By Kelly Balamuth on April 26, 2011

The Golden Gate Bridge already has speed limits for motorists, but bicyclists are not required to watch how fast they travel on the bridge’s sidewalks. That may change, however. Bridge officials are considering setting a speed limit for bicyclists as a way to reduce the number of San Francisco bicycle accidents and injuries suffered on the bridge each year, reports The San Francisco Chronicle.

Currently, bicyclists travel the bridge at whatever speed they choose, and many exceed speeds of 20 miles per hour during their trip across the bridge. New speed limits for bicyclists, however, would restrict riders to 10 miles per hour or 5 miles per hour between the bridge’s two towers and in construction zones. Exceeding the speed limit could earn bicyclists a speeding ticket of $100. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) plans to enforce a bicycle speed limit by using LIDAR, a speed-measuring system similar to radar.

As more bicyclists and pedestrians use the Golden Gate Bridge, in recent years the number of bicycle accidents on the bridge has increased, concerning bridge officials. Although solo bicycle accidents are the most common, bicyclists also often crash head-on into each one another, and bicycle-pedestrian collisions also cause injuries.

Bicycling and walking are popular forms of exercise in the Bay Area, but care is necessary when biking or walking in a confined space so that no one suffers an injury. If you have been injured by another’s carelessness, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Northern California personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Harrington to learn more about your rights and options. Call 888-254-1234 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.

Thousands of Miles of Natural Gas Piping, Like that in San Bruno, Run Underneath CA

By Kelly Balamuth on September 29, 2010

In response to the recent explosion tragedy in San Bruno, the Los Angeles Times has written an informative article regarding the thousands of miles worth of piping that runs throughout the state of California. Reportedly, the potential for a disaster like the one that took the lives of at least seven people in San Bruno is relatively high, especially because multiple fault lines run throughout the state and earthquakes can quickly spark these explosions. Numerous precautions are taken to ensure that these pipes don’t fail, but disrepair remains.

Steel piping which is high-pressure tested and often as wide as truck tires is used throughout the state as the highways for natural gas transport. The gas that runs along these highways can be as dense as 1,400 pounds per square inch. According to the article, these pipelines are sometimes laid a mere three feet below the ground in some locations, particularly in dense urban areas. Cracks in the piping can seriously jeopardize the structure’s integrity, and can quickly lead to accidents such as the San Bruno explosion. To make matters worse, certain companies, such as Pacific Gas & Electric, the company responsible for maintaining the San Bruno piping, currently have spotty safety records and have been deemed responsible for explosion accidents in the past, albeit none as deadly as the recent San Bruno incident.

Questions are now arising as to whether or not safety standards are stringent enough to ensure the safety of all Californians. Accidents should never occur due to the negligence of the company responsible for the gas lines. In the event that a company is deemed to have been negligent, San Mateo county personal injury accident victims may be able to hold that company accountable for its actions and seek compensatory damages for injuries sustained due to the accident.

The Northern California personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Harrington, LLP represent injured people. For more information about accident victims’ rights in Northern California, please call our office today at 888-254-1234 for a free consultation.

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

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