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Collapsed scaffolding leaves questions of safety at jobsite

Questions concerning the safety of a company’s work practices arose recently when six construction workers were buried under the falling debris of collapsed scaffolding at a jobsite in the Midwest. Investigators at the scene conclude the winds most likely played a factor, but their concern focused on two central issues.  The plastic covering the scaffolding, which was designed to serve as a shield against the elements of nature, could have served as a sail, pulling the scaffolding loose from its moorings. Investigators also wish to know whether the scaffolding was secured to the building, and if so, how it was secured. The company has reportedly refused to comment.

The workers were rushed to area hospitals after rescue operations arrived on the scene of the construction accident. They were treated for dislocations and lacerations. At least two of the trapped workers had broken bones. Medical professionals state the possibility of spinal injuries as a result of their scaffolding fall.

The ongoing investigation is an effort to determine if the accident was preventable. The scaffolding had collapsed in seconds while the men were working three floors up. Along with their injuries, they may suffer trauma and loss of work hours.

As all North Carolina residents can attest, accidents happen, and the forces of nature often do play a role, but many of the accidents that occur at a construction site are preventable ones. However, workers are generally entitled to compensation for their injuries and lost wages regardless of who is at-fault for a workplace accident.

Construction workers who suffer injuries in jobsite accidents in North Carolina may benefit from talking to an attorney about workers’ compensation law. If third party negligence or carelessness was involved, the injured worker may also be entitled to third party compensation.

Source: FOX 17, “Six Injured in Scaffolding Collapse; State Inspecting Accident” Darren Cunningham, March 14, 2014

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