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Scaffolding collapses, causing bridge worker to fall

Many jobs in Missouri require the worker to hang from a great height. Safety equipment to try to keep the vulnerable workers secure from a fall exists. But sometimes, the equipment fails, putting workers in construction and other fields in serious danger.

A person working on an interstate bridge in another state suffered a fall on Feb. 10 when the scaffolding holding up him and his co-workers failed. The man survived, but the extent of his injuries is not clear.

He was working with three other people to clean, paint and inspect the bridge. His employer had been hired by the local Department of Transportation for the job. To get to the bridge, which spans a river, the workers used scaffolding and harnesses.

On the afternoon of Feb. 10, that scaffolding suddenly collapsed to the ground. Three of the workers were left hanging by their harnesses. The fourth worker fell onto the ruins of the scaffolding. It is not clear if his harness failed, or if he had been provided with a harness at all.

Rescue workers from the local fire department climbed out on the bridge’s catwalk to rescue the other three, who were stranded for more than 90 minutes, in at least one case. The three were successfully taken down without further incident.

A news report about this work accident says that “it appears” that the worker who fell onto the scaffolding “will recover.” This brief remark is open to interpretation. Does this mean that he will be back at work in a few days? Or did he suffer injuries that, while not life-threatening, will require extensive recovery and physical rehabilitation?

If so, he may need to turn to workers’ compensation during the time he is unable to work.

Source: WFOR-TV, “Scaffolding Accident Sends 4 Workers To Hospital, Scene Of Daring Rescue,” Feb. 10, 2014

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