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California construction workers regularly lose their lives for their work. The death of a construction worker is something that few want to discuss but must clearly be addressed. California workers' compensation law considers the devastating death of a construction worker that occurs in the course and scope of his or her duty a work related death, which may entitle the deceased's family and others to compensation pursuant to California workers' compensation law benefits. However, no amount of money can ever replace a life. There are no excuses for the death of each construction worker mentioned below and California must adjust its workers' compensation laws to encourage employers to protect construction workers from on the job death and injury.

Fortunately, the Director of the Department of Industrial of Relations for California has taken certain steps to mitigate construction worker death due to a fall, including Cal/OSHA's presence at construction sites throughout California to discuss the importance of fall avoidance. An employer who does not adhere to Cal/OSHA regulations may be given a citation and instructed to correct their non-compliant behavior. In addition, an employer who is cited by Cal/OSHA may be subject to a Serious and Willful claim under workers' compensation law when, among other reasons, a construction worker is injured due to the deliberate indifference of an employer who allows or furthers the act that brings upon a work injury to a construction worker. The death of a construction worker due to an unsafe work environment is also contemplated by workers' compensation law. It's critical to speak with your California workers' compensation attorney about how you or your loved one was injured or killed in the performance of their craft as a construction worker.

The Law Office of Scott A. Schwartz extends their sincere condolences to the families and friends of California construction workers who lost their lives in 2013, performing their construction work, including, among others, California construction workers who were, respectively: trimming a tree and fell more than 40-feet in Ventura; stricken by a fallen window from a truck in Los Angeles; crushed between a truck and dock while loading while loading material in Goleta; fell 15-feet off a ladder while painting in Thousand Oaks; performing a floor covering and fell in Torrance; smashed by a skid loader in Cucamonga; crashed into by a race car at Bakersfield Speedway; fell into river and was swept over waterfall in Topanga; killed by a motorist while moving a motorcycle in Santa Fe Springs; struck by a planting machine that fell off flatbed truck in Hemet; electrocuted in Los Angeles trying to chip concrete in a Los Angeles trench; fell from a ladder onto a boat in Ventura; crushed by gate while moving cows in Ontario; crushed between a waste trailer and forklift in Carson; fell from a 17-foot roof in Pico Rivera; found dead after tree trimming in Los Angeles; impaled by fallen bale in a warehouse by shredded paper in Carson; loading lumber from a trailer in Santa Fe Springs; and, crushed by fallen cylinder racks in Carson.

The injury or death of a California construction worker must not be taken lightly, and both family and friends of the injured or deceased construction worker should make sure their loved one was provided with proper protection under California law. The Law Office of Scott A. Schwartz has worked with Cal/OSHA on several workers' compensation construction death and injury claims, providing families with support and helping to avoid construction worker injury and death in the future. Cal/OSHA investigations often take months to complete; for this reason, among others, they should be contacted immediately upon the injury or death of a construction worker due to unsafe conditions. California construction workers deserve the same protection with which they provide the citizens of the State of California.

By Scott A. Schwartz

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