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Makeshift scaffold collapse injures 3 California workers

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that 72 percent of injuries suffered in a scaffold accident arise from three main areas:

  • Workers either falling due to losing the support of planking or the structure of the scaffolding,
  • from accidents involving a worker slipping on a scaffold,
  • and, from falling objects striking a worker.

Improper scaffolding structures can pose significant risk to workers. It does not necessarily take great height for a worker to suffer serious injury in a scaffolding collapse.

Three California men were injured when apparently shoddy scaffolding collapsed Friday near the Twin Peaks in San Francisco. Few details about the renovation project are yet known. Reports suggest that the three men were working on the roof of a building when a wooden structure nailed to the side of the building collapsed.

Authorities say that all three workers suffered injuries, including broken bones and undisclosed internal injuries. Two of the three workers suffered what officials are characterizing as potentially life-threatening injuries.

Authorities in San Francisco say that the building owner has previously had issues related to questionable scaffolding. In the recent project, the building owner did not have permits for the work being performed on the building that was the accident site. In addition, the adjacent property is under renovation, including the removal of asbestos tiles. Authorities say that that site also was under renovation without proper permits.

It is not clear from a recent newspaper account what work relationship the injured men have, or who may be the employer. Unsafe work conditions at a construction site can expose workers to serious risk for injury.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “3 workers hurt in S.F. scaffolding collapse,” Vivian Ho, Jan. 24, 2014

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