On Oct. 31, a construction accident on the campus of the Glendale Community College in Los Angeles County caused a dangerous gas leak that required the evacuation of the entire campus and the suspension of classes. Just more than two weeks later, on Nov. 15, another incident sent one of two construction workers who was trapped in a collapsed trench to the hospital. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has initiated a full investigation, part of which will involve the construction company's compliance with safety regulations.
Reportedly, the most recent incident involved two members of a construction crew who were in a trench on the Verdugo Campus and were busy with the installation of a sewer line. It is unclear whether the trench was secured as required by safety standards, but the walls collapsed, burying two workers. One construction worker was trapped with soil up to his waist, and rescue workers struggled for more than 30 minutes with the painful extrication process of this worker.
Paramedics stabilized him and rushed him to an area hospital in serious condition. The second worker was fortunate to suffer minor injuries that did not need emergency care. Even though the Cal/OSHA investigation is ongoing, authorities already concluded that violations of safety standards contributed to the accident.
Construction workers in California who suffered on-the-job injuries are typically entitled to file benefits claims with the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system. The claims process could be challenging, and many injured workers choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers compensation attorney. A lawyer can navigate the legal and administrative proceedings, allowing the injured worker to focus on recovery and getting back to work.