A 5,000-pound piece of steel recently fell from a crane at an industrial site in Simi Valley and crushed a 58-year-old man from Bakersfield. The man was unable to avoid the falling steel as it fell from the crane. A second man was fortunate enough to avoid the steel but still suffered minor injuries. The family or partner of the deceased man and the injured man may have the option of filing a wrongful death or workers' compensation claim, respectively, as a result of this tragic accident.
The victim in this work accident was a truck driver for Valley Wide Distributors, and the accident occurred as the steel was being unloaded from a truck. Early reports indicate that a chain holding the steel in place on the crane broke and allowed the steel to fall. There is no record of previous Cal/OSHA investigations into the company involved with this accident.
What this accident highlights is the fact that you don't have to be a construction worker to be involved in a workplace accident. Work accidents can happen at any time, and the results can be fatal. Even someone working in an office can be involved in an electrical accident if there is faulty or outdated wiring.
If one is injured in any type of accident at work, it's important for him or her to ensure that his or her rights are protected. Accidents are not always preventable or foreseeable, but there are many times when they can occur due to negligence. In the case of this accident, attorneys would question the way the chain was hooked up and if there was any reason to suspect that it would break. An attorney may conduct his or her own investigation or summon experts to uncover the true cause of the accident in order to pinpoint liability and help an injured worker potentially recover compensation.
Source: The Bakersfield Californian, "Bakersfield Man Crushed by Steel in Simi Valley Industrial Accident," Cindy Von Quednow, April 11, 2013