Construction accident attorneys in Orlando have been following the recent report of a tragic accident in which two workers died after falling seven stories from collapsed scaffolding at a hotel under construction near Disney.
Local news media reported four workers were standing on the scaffolding while working on a JW Marriott hotel when it collapsed, seemingly without warning. Two construction workers – ages 34 and 46 – fell, one was able to hold on and the fourth managed to climb to safety. The men were pouring concrete at the time of the tragic incident.
Construction site injury lawyers use the term “accident” in these scenarios loosely because the reality is while such occurrences certainly are not intentional, they are nonetheless preventable. There are extensive industry standards and safety protocol where scaffolding is concerned. When followed to the letter – which employers, contractors and property owners have a duty to do – the risk of a collapse is almost non-existent.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes those standards clear. The federal agency will be launching an investigation into this Orange County construction accident to ascertain exactly where this project when so horribly wrong. Workers injured in Orlando construction accidents (or survivors of those killed) need to know they may have numerous options for financial compensation. Although the physical and emotional pain of such losses is profound, it’s also true that the monetary impact can be devastating.
Scaffolding Accident Construction Site Injuries Preventable
For those who may be unfamiliar, scaffolding is a temporary, elevated work platform. One is the supported scaffold, held up by load-bearing, rigid members, while suspended scaffolds are held up by ropes or overhead support. These platforms are frequently used at construction sites throughout Florida.
As outlined by OSHA, the most common risks associated with scaffolds include:
- Falls from heights because of lacking fall protection.
- Scaffolding collapse, the result of overloading or instability.
- Struck-by injuries, resulting when tools, work materials or debris fall onto workers on the scaffold.
- Electrocution, primarily because of how close scaffolding can be to power lines overhead.
In general, per 29 CFR 1926.451(a)(1), all scaffolds need to be able to support at least four times the maximum intended load. Only qualified individuals should design scaffolding, and they should only be loaded according to that design. Any worker on scaffolding should have adequate fall protection, which can be in the form of restraints, guardrails or other protective devices.
Are You an Injured Construction Worker in Orlando?
It’s imperative that any workers injured or surviving family members of those killed in a scaffolding collapse or fall speak immediately with an experienced Orlando construction accident lawyer. The reason is there are likely several avenues of financial compensation available to you, and you don’t want to sign away rights to any of that with any sort of premature settlement agreement.
First and foremost, there is workers’ compensation – including workers’ compensation death benefits payable to spouses and/ or dependents.
Beyond that, there may be numerous claims for third-party liability. This is important because workers’ compensation benefits do not cover full wage losses or things like pain and suffering. Although workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy an employee has against an employer for a work accident, this is not a bar to seeking damages from third parties who may be liable. These could include the owner of the property, the manufacturer or designer of the scaffolding or the contractor responsible for setup and/ or inspection of the scaffolding.
A dedicated work injury attorney can help more fully explain your options based on the individual facts of your case in a free initial consultation.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
2 construction workers killed after scaffolding collapses in Orange County, OCFR says, Aug. 30, 2018, By kelly Healey, WFTV 9-ABC
More Blog Entries:
Work Safety Advocates Sue OSHA For Failure to Collect Employee Injury Data, Aug. 30, 2018, Orlando Construction Worker Injury Blog