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Accident on the job leaves 3 dead as scaffold collapses

Construction workers in California face dangerous situations whenever they are on a construction site. Those working on scaffolds are exposed to multiple hazards at the same time. Every year many workers are hurt – and some lose their lives – in scaffolding accidents. The dangers were underscored by a recent accident on the job that tragically injured one and took the lives of three other construction workers in another state.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated an inspection and said the scaffolding, which was several stories high, detached from the building and crashed down. Three workers died, and one suffered critical injuries. An incident like this underscores the importance of identifying the potential hazards before workers are allowed on scaffolding.

It is also vital that workers receive proper safety training because many scaffolding accidents are preventable with proper training. Dangerous situations are often created due to insufficient training, such as a lack of fall protection. Other errors include unstable structures and overloading and erecting scaffolding too close to overhead power lines. Falling work materials, tools and debris have also caused many scaffold-related injuries and deaths.

These and other hazards can cause an accident on the job at any time, and workers who have suffered injuries are often incapacitated for extended periods. Fortunately, most California workers are eligible for benefits that are provided by workers' compensation insurance. Injured workers -- or families who have lost loved ones -- may pursue claims for medical expenses or end-of-life costs, where applicable, along with compensation for lost income.

Source: bizjournals.com, "Scaffolding collapses in downtown Raleigh, deaths confirmed", Lauren K. Ohnesorge, March 23, 2015

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