If you’re Going to San Francisco (Wear a Helmet on your Head)

49ers busIn Santa Clara, a worker was killed on Monday during the construction of the new 49ers stadium. A bundle of rebar fell on the delivery truck driver as he was unloading it. All work has been shut down until officials complete their investigation. This is the second fatality at the site in the past four months. This past June, an elevator mechanic was working in the shaft when he was struck and killed by a counterweight.

The NY Daily News reports that the Cal-OSHA has not released the identity of the worker and further details of the accident are pending. He was an employee of Gerdau Ameristeel, a subcontractor on the Levi Stadium project.

The $1.2 billion project is scheduled to be completed in July 2014, in time to host Super Bowl 50. The stadium is slated to hold 68,500 people and contain the largest lower bowl in the league. Officials say they are working at an accelerated pace to reduce delays and maximize efficiency.

I’ve noticed that my recent stories have been about things we take as everyday instances that should go off without a hitch. Maybe I don’t often run across tales about explosions at dynamite factories because they understand the risks and take extra precautions to avoid them. But football games, grocery stores and sports arenas? They’re all seemingly normal and safe things; it’s plausible that they might have overlooked one of the thousands of things that could go wrong because the danger wasn’t as top of mind as it is for some work sites.

Stories like this should serve to teach us that any work zone can pose dangers, and we should take precautions even when we don’t think that something is a big hazard. I think it’s easy to take shortcuts and assume that everything will be OK, only pointing fingers after something goes wrong. It seems like it would save a lot of money, time, and lives if we paid more attention to safety mechanisms put in place before an accident.

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