According to SGL Constructors, the fatal accident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. by Lake Lucerne in downtown Orlando. A concrete beam reportedly slipped off a piece of equipment and struck Corrales Ibarra and another SGL construction worker.
Corrales Ibarra was pronounced dead at the scene. The other worker was rushed to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Corrales Ibarra is the fifth worker to die since the 21-mile project officially began in 2015. It involves the reconstruction of 74 bridges, the widening of 13 bridges, and the addition of 53 new bridges.
SGL Constructors released the following statement on Monday:
“We are currently focused on providing the necessary support to the family, our employees and all those affected by this tragedy. The investigation into the cause of the incident is still ongoing. Work along the 21-mile project remains suspended, with the exception of emergency maintenance and corridor-wide safety patrols that will continue to operate during this time.”
The project was to be completed in May 2019, but the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) won’t allow work to continue “until this investigation progresses substantially and the root causes of Saturday’s incident can be understood.”
It is unclear if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be investigating this incident. OSHA has reportedly investigated the cases of every worker injured or killed since the project began in 2015.
In August 2019, representatives from OSHA and SGL Constructors settled a case involving the death of 59-year-old James H. Mills, who was killed on the job.
The circumstances that led to Mills’ death appear to be similar to Corrales Ibarra’s; Mills was killed after a large steel pipe fell on him while he was on the job. Witnesses said he was on top of a flatbed trailer, helping other workers use a forklift to load the 20-foot long pipe. Mills lost his footing and fell, causing the pipe to roll off the trailer and on top of him.
The project was paused for a week after Mills’ death, and OSHA and SGL Constructors allegedly conducted a thorough review of safety protocols. However, three more workers were injured on the job a few weeks after work resumed.
Construction site jobs are among the most dangerous in the country. There are on average 150,000 construction site injuries every year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Injured workers, or the relatives of workers killed on the job, are entitled to workers’ compensation from their employer. In cases such as this, it is recommended for victims to hire an attorney to help them pressure their employer to file for workers’ comp benefits.
South Florida Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you or your loved one was injured at a job site, you should hire an attorney. Contact the offices of Brian Silber, P.A., and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.