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OSHA Investigates New England Scaffolding Accident

According to a recent news feature from the New Haven Register, a construction worker was severely injured while on the job when he was involved in a scaffolding accident.  Witnesses say the 47-year-old worker was working on a scaffold that was more than six stories up the side of a hospital building in Hartford when the workplace accident occurred.

scaffold-1-1543984While he was up on the scaffolding, there was a total structural collapse, and everything came crashing down, including the construction worker.  He fell more than 60 feet to the ground along with parts of the scaffolding on which he was previously standing.    One witness said he heard the scaffolding come crashing down, and it sounded like metal waste being thrown in a construction dumpster.  He said he had no idea there was anyone on the metal scaffolding at the time of the on the job accident.  The victim was severely injured in the accident was not conscious when first responders arrived at the scene and attempted to provide immediate medical attention.

When first responders were able to revive the workplace injury victim, he was able to move parts of his body, which is positive, but he was still listed as being in critical condition with potentially life-threatening injuries.  The type of scaffolding he was on that the time of the accident is known as a rolling scaffold.  As the name implies, rolling scaffolding is constructed with a wheeled base.  While it is quite common to see rolling scaffolding being used by painters and in places like Home Depot where workers need to be higher up to stock shelves, and forklift is not always ideal, it is not all that common to see rolling scaffolding being used that is six stories high.  However, it should be noted that it has not been determined if the fact that it was on wheels contributed in any way towards this serious on-the-job accident.

While local police are going to be involved in the investigation, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be taking the lead in this case.  OSHA is responsible for investigating all fatal on-the-job accidents and many other serious workplace accidents that result in severe injury but not death.

While it is important to find out what caused this workplace accident so that future accidents of the same or similar type can be avoided in the future, it is not necessary to find out whose fault it is in order for victims to get awarded workers’ compensation benefits in Boston.  The reason for this is the workers’ compensation system is designed to be a no-fault system.  It is only necessary for the injured worker to prove that he or she is a statutory employee and that he or she was injured on the job or suffers from a work-related illness.  If these two requirements are met, the claimant should be entitled to recover damages for lost wages, past medical expenses and future medical expenses.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

OSHA probing Connecticut scaffold accident that critically injured worker, June 3, 2016, NewHaven Register, By AP Wire

More Blog Entries:

Scope of Employment in Workers’ Compensation Cases, March 29, 2016, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog