The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) has opened an investigation into the death of a 60-year-old man from Pomona, California. The man had worked for Decco Construction for 27 years.
The worker was on a hillside house project in Laguna Beach when the fatal accident occurred. The man was measuring for walls on the second floor when he suddenly fell backwards. The contracting company's president saw his employee fall, saying "I heard [the worker's] bags rattling and then saw him flying backwards."
According to regulations, framers may climb ladders up to 15 feet without having to wear fall protection. The company president said the worker "was a pro; he was slow, but methodical. I'd never seen him fall from a ladder."
Cal-OSHA has sent inspectors to speak with witnesses. They will also seek records from the coroner and the employer, specifically the training procedures and the safety plan. It could take as long as six months for the investigation to conclude. Fines could be possible if it is deemed that violations occurred.
The coroner determined that the man died from trauma he suffered during the fall.
The project has met with some opposition, with some residents in the area. They say the home's design has inconsistencies and violates city requirements for the area. There have also been complaints about non-compliance with some construction policies. None of those complaints were related to safety concerns, though.
Construction accidents claim workers' lives every day. If you have lost a loved one to a construction accident, you do have rights. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide more information on your legal options.
Source: The Indy, "Cal-OSHA Opens Inquiry into Worker’s Death Posted," Andrea Adelson, June 16, 2017