During a week when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was emphasizing the importance of fall prevention through its National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction program, a fatal workplace accident that defied all safety regulations claimed the life of one worker and caused life-threatening injuries to another. This tragedy appears to be an example of how not to deal with workplace safety. OSHA set aside the second week of May to focus on safety policies and methods to prevent falls and educate employers and employees nationwide, including in Missouri.
Authorities say two workers fell from the third story level of an apartment complex that is under construction in another state. Reportedly, they were standing in a wooden crate from which they were unloading doors through a window in the apartment building. The crate was used as a platform atop a hydraulic aerial lift that was elevated to reach the third story.
Somehow, the crate became unbalanced and toppled off the crane, causing the two workers to fall to the ground. It was unclear whether the workers were equipped with fall protection. A safety officer noted that none of the initial information indicates compliance with any safety regulations. OSHA investigators were on the site to investigate the incident.
Paramedics arrived at the scene, declaring the death of one of the two construction workers and rushing the second man to a hospital in critical condition. Although the Missouri workers’ compensation insurance program offers benefits to assist injured victims and survivors, the disregard of workplace safety by construction company owners and contractors is simply unacceptable. Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can provide guidance and support with filing benefits claims.
Source: jacksonville.com, “Jacksonville police: 1 dead, 1 hospitalized after industrial fall at construction site“, Garrett Pelican, May 11, 2017