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Fatal accident halts construction at 49ers new stadium site

A worker was killed Tuesday in an accident at the construction site for the new San Francisco 49ers stadium. The construction site accident was reported sometime around 7:00 Tuesday morning. Details about the California industrial accident remain sketchy as investigators continue to learn more about the circumstances.

Reports indicate that the accident victim was crushed in an elevator shaft. A spokesperson for the city of Santa Clara, California says that it appears that the man was working in the elevator shaft when another worker rode down in the elevator car with the accident victim at the bottom of the shaft, according to KTVU-TV. However, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it remains unclear whether the accident victim was working in the shaft, or if he fell into the shaft before the fatal construction accident.

The accident victim reportedly worked for one of the subcontractors involved in construction of the new Levi Stadium. Construction sites often have many different companies involved in a large-scale project. Workers’ compensation laws provide benefits for accident victims and families of victims for work-related accidents.

However, the idea of workers’ compensation laws apply between workers and employers, and do not necessarily bar separate third-party type actions against others if negligence is involved in a construction site accident.

Tuesday’s fatal accident remains under investigation. Police responded to the stadium site to open a probe and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health was notified. Cal-OSHA officials were dispatched to the stadium site Tuesday morning. Construction is halted, as workers were sent home after the accident.

Source: KTVU-TV, “Worker killed at 49ers stadium construction site,” June 11, 2013; San Francisco Chronicle, “Worker killed at 49ers stadium site,” Henry K. Lee, June 11, 2013

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