Minnesota workers may be interested in the story of a fatal workplace accident that may have been caused by improper training or faulty equipment. Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the matter, but the results of their inquiry may not be ready for months.
On March 24, four men were working at a construction site at the Charter Square building in downtown Raleigh, N.C. when the scaffolding they were in the process of dismantling collapsed beneath them. Two 33-year-olds and a 41-year-old were killed in the scaffolding fall, while a 51-year-old man survived with serious injuries. Reports indicate that this accident involved what is known as a "mast climber," a portable motorized scaffolding that requires specialized expertise to set up and operate.
As part of its inquiry, OSHA will examine a number of factors that could have led to the work accident. The investigation will look at whether or not the workers were properly trained in the use and dismantling of the equipment, as well as whether or not the correct procedures were followed during the work. OSHA will also look at the equipment itself and determine whether there was some defect in the manufacturing or if the mast climber was not installed properly. Investigators will determine if any environmental or external factors caused the scaffolding fall, such as wind or other weather phenomena.
An employee who is injured in an on-the-job accident may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help to cover costs associated with the injury, including all required medical care and treatment and a percentage of wages lost due to an inability to return to work. An attorney may be helpful in providing assistance throughout the filing process.