Workers who do demolition work have very dangerous work, but the dangers in the field should be minimized by the employers. Sadly, a recent accident that occurred during a bridge demolition shows that the risks of this type of work can be fatal. The accident happened when the stretch of Highway 91 was closed to traffic, but while there wasn't a risk posed to motorists, the premature collapse caused a fatality.
A company was working to demolish the Pachappa Railroad Overcrossing as part of a $232 million project to increase the number of lanes on the freeway so one carpool lane in each direction can be introduced. The bridge had to be removed so a new one could be placed after the highway is widened.
At the time of the accident, the easternmost side of the bridge was supported by a crane, but it was the westernmost side that collapsed. The bridge had been cut into sections for removal.
The man who was killed was tethered to the bridge when something came that shouldn't have. The man was riding the bridge down when whatever broke hit the ground and twisted. He was catapulted onto the pavement.
The 59-year-old man was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:00 in the morning. The man was a subcontractor for the general contractor working on the project.
This tragic accident means that a man won't go home to his family. That loss will haunt them for a lifetime. They might have to deal with difficulties caused by the expected cost of his final expenses, as well as the loss of his income. The family has a right to seek compensation for his death, which might help them to minimize the financial impact of his death.
Source: The Press-Enterprise, "RIVERSIDE: Caltrans probing cause of fatal bridge collapse over Hwy. 91" Richard Brooks, May. 18, 2014