On Saturday, December 2, five workers were injured on California’s High Speed Rail construction project just north of Fresno, at the San Joaquin River crossing near Highway 99. State investigators reported that a tower made up of reinforced steel rods fell over and injured the five workers. Two were sent to the hospital for treatment.
Since the accident occurred on state property, the California Highway Patrol is looking into the cause of the accident. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal OSHA) is investigating the injury aspect of the case.
According to a written statement released by Cal OSHA’s Communications Director, Jeanne Mairie Duvall, “Rebar collapsed injuring five employees, two of which were hospitalized. DOSH is currently investigating. Cal/OSHA has six months after opening an investigation to issue any citations, if appropriate. Until that time, the case is open and confidential.”
The tower made of re-bar was the framework for concrete supports that will support tracks over the San Joaquin River. The site where the accident occurred was just one of 17 total locations in the 29-mile stretch where crews are working on construction.
Lee Ann Eager, Commissioner of the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County, stated, “There’s about 1500 people working on the construction sites and about half of them are from Fresno County.”
The condition of the two workers hospitalized in Saturday’s incident is unknown. The California Highway Patrol described their injuries as moderate. One may have suffered a back fracture.
Dial and Associates PC knows that construction puts workers at high risk for injury—the field has one of the highest worker injury rates of any occupation. When workers seek treatment for their injuries through workers compensation, often employers try to claim construction workers aren’t truly employees. Injured workers should seek a lawyer to assist them in getting the treatment they need and are entitled to under the law. Orange County Workers’ Comp Lawyer Stephen Dial can get you the treatment you need and will fight your employer for the rights you have under the law.