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Girder collapse at bridge construction causes workplace injuries

Workers who are involved in road construction are typically exposed to many safety hazards. This applies in particular to bridge construction projects in Oklahoma and across the country. Two workers in another state recently suffered workplace injuries in an incident that could have easily caused their deaths.

Reportedly, the accident took place on a recent Thursday morning. For reasons yet to be determined, a large girder collapsed at the site of a bridge construction. A girder is a horizontal support beam that typically supports smaller beams in construction. According to an accident report, the collapsed beam caused one of the workers to fall approximately 40 feet and suffer serious injuries.

He was airlifted for treatment at a local hospital. A second worker who suffered less severe injuries was transported to a hospital by road. Police and personnel of the department of transportation were said to be investigating the accident. There was no mention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration being involved in the investigation to determine whether this incident was the result of safety violations.

Oklahoma workers who have suffered workplace injuries that led to medical bills, possible hospitalization and loss of wages are entitled to pursue financial assistance. Benefits claims may be filed with the workers' compensation insurance fund to which their employers contribute. Along with compensation for all bills related to the medical expenses, the system typically also allows payment of lost wages. Although wage loss is not covered in full, the award will be based on a percentage of the injured worker's average weekly wage.

Source: azfamily.com, "One person falls 40 feet after girder collapse at Surprise bridge project", Tami Hoey, June 9, 2016

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