Statistics shows that scaffold collapses cause a significant number of the annual workplace fatalities and injuries nationwide. Construction companies in Colorado and elsewhere have to comply with the safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when erecting these structures to prevent collapsed scaffolding. Unfortunately, some contractors and subcontractors fail to adhere to regulations, often with devastating consequences.
A fatal scaffold collapse in a neighboring state is currently under investigation by OSHA. A report indicates that a 21-foot section of a six-story scaffolding structure collapsed on a recent Tuesday. Workers were reportedly working at the fifth-story level of a hospital under construction when the structure buckled and collapsed, causing the workers to fall to the ground.
Eight workers suffered injuries of varying degrees, and they were transported to several hospitals. Sadly, one worker died in the hospital after being admitted. Six of the other injured victims have subsequently been released from various hospitals while one remains hospitalized with injuries of unknown severity. A spokesperson for the construction company said a subcontractor was responsible for the erection of the scaffold. The OSHA investigation will determine whether the fatality and injuries were caused by violations of safety regulations.
The surviving family members of the worker who died in this incident of collapsed scaffolding will likely be facing several challenges, both financial and emotional. Fortunately, financial assistance may be obtained by covered dependents in Colorado and other states through the survivor benefits offered by the workers’ compensation insurance fund. Death benefits typically cover the costs of a funeral and burial along with a financial package based on the deceased worker’s income.
Source: whig.com, “Cause sought in deadly New Mexico scaffold collapse”, Aug. 18, 2015