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Worker critically injured when defective equipment fails

Construction workers in Colorado often have to work at great heights. In compliance with safety regulations as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction company owners must provide workers with protective gear. However, protective gear must be inspected for defects before it is issued to workers as defective equipment can lead to severe injuries or even death.

An employee of a construction company in another state recently suffered critical injuries in a workplace accident. As part of a project to extend a university's sports facilities, workers were reportedly working on steel beams at a height of about 15 to 20 feet. Rescuers from the fire department say one man fell off a beam, and could have avoided injury had his safety harness not failed.

The worker was airlifted to a local hospital and subsequently transferred to a medical facility in Sioux Falls. The fire chief says it would be speculation to comment on precisely what caused the worker to fall or why the safety harness did not stop his fall. A thorough investigation by the construction company and OSHA will determine whether the worker's critical injuries resulted from violations of safety regulations.

The severity of this worker's injuries was not reported. It is not uncommon for fall accidents to result in catastrophic injuries, such as spinal injuries that may even lead to paralysis. The consequences of defective equipment can be devastating, and medical expenses may continue for years. Injured workers in Colorado are entitled to pursue financial relief by filing benefit claims with the workers' compensation insurance fund. Compensation typically covers medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages, though additional compensation may be awarded where the worker's injuries result in disability.

Source: siouxcityjournal.com, "Construction worker injured in fall on University of South Dakota campus", Greg Forbes, April 15, 2015

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