According to federal labor statistics,  4,609 employees were killed on the job nationwide in 2011, and 721 of those accidents happened on construction sites.   One such tragedy happened recently in a Pacific Palisades, California construction site.

Gilbert Vargas, 50, was operating a backhoe on a city public-works project in Pacific Palisades when the U-shaped trench he was working on caved in. Vargas was buried chest-high in dirt in the 15-foot deep pit. A second construction  worker sank nearly up to his hips.  The Fire Department was able to  extricate the second worker. However, Vargas died of multiple traumatic injuries, including suffocation.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times,  he died while working to improve public health. Currently, runoff containing fecal bacteria pours into the water at Will Rogers State Beach, resulting in beach closures and an array of public health problems.  Vargas was working on a project to divert that fecal bacteria-laden runoff

Often times, construction workers and their families confront financial and legal challenges in the wake of a work-related accident on their own. However, California  residents faced with this kind of situation need to be aware of their legal options.  If you have been injured on the job or due to the negligence of another person, please call Attorney, Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.