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Scaffold collapse seriously injures two California workers

Two carpenters suffered serious injuries when scaffolding collapsed at a California construction site last Thursday afternoon. Initial reports indicated that the workers suffered what could be life-threatening injuries. A spokesperson for the construction company says that the workers were in stable condition on Friday and expected to survive.

The workers were installing scaffolding at a construction site in San Francisco when something went terribly wrong.

The carpenters were tethered to the scaffolding. One of the workers fell roughly 40 feet. The other was working slightly below the other and took a roughly 30-foot fall. Each of the men suffered serious workplace injuries. Emergency crews had to work their way through the rumble to rescue the injured workers. A company spokesman says that the builder takes safety seriously. The cause of the construction accident remains under investigation.

Sources indicate that the construction project involves a new 27 to 30 story building that is expected to be completed early next year.

Obviously, scaffolds are a necessary aspect of many construction projects. Many construction workers are injured (or killed) each year in scaffolding accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes analysis of these accidents conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that workers blame planking or support failures, slip and falls, or falling objects in 72 percent of injury cases involving scaffolding.

When a scaffold fails, workers can be exposed to great risks. Inherent dangers from a fall and the risk of injury from debris that can be generated at the accident site are apparent.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Fall from rising S.F. skyscraper injures 2,” Vivian Ho, Feb. 21, 2014; San Francisco Appeal, “Workers Who Fell From Skyscraper Scaffolding Expected To Recover,” Bay City News, Feb. 21, 2014

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