Cal/OSHA Will Step-Up Inspections at Bay Area Construction Sites

Cal/OSHA will focus on safety compliance at construction sites in the San Francisco Bay Area following a number of recent accidents. Inspectors have been deployed to inspect construction sites to determine whether adequate measures have been taken to identify safety hazards and prevent injury.

Construction site hazards include open trenches, moving equipment and unsafe safety practices at elevated levels. Four recent accidents illustrate these dangers:

1. May 21 - A worker at a residential San Jose project fell to his death from a three-story building.

2. May 20 - A worker at a San Mateo project tumbled nine feet from a wall, sustaining fatal head injuries.

3. May 20 - A San Diego worker near the top of a 22-foot rebar column was killed when it fell on him.

4. May 18 - A worker was killed in downtown Riverside when the train bridge he was dismantling fell on him.

Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers and Cal/OSHA has posted an industry-specific fact sheet on fall protection on-line.

Fall protection will be one of the items Cal/OSHA inspectors will be checking during inspections, from railings on buildings to personal devices such as hooks that attach to vests. The Cal/OSHA teams will also examine trench safety, equipment safety and site hazards such power lines.

If the Cal/OSHA inspectors discovery any serious hazard or a lack of protection, the Cal/OSHA inspectors can stop work until the hazards are corrected. Further, employers who fail to comply with Cal/OSHA safety regulations will be cited and ordered to correct the violations.

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