A terrifying scene in Asheville, North Carolina on August 20th, 2018 has drawn attention from federal authorities. During the incident, a scaffold slipped free from its mooring, leaving two workers scrambling to safety. Thankfully, no one died or was significantly injured, though long-term mental suffering is a distinct possibility for both men.
The two workers were on a suspended scaffold, working on the tallest building in the entire city. Despite the clearly dangerous situation, it is unclear whether property safety precautions were taken. Though providing little information, OSHA representatives indicated the investigation will focus on whether or not proper protocols were followed, including requirements for scaffolding and harnesses to be checked daily by qualified staff.
Daily equipment checks are the best protection against these incidents. If any fraying to rope or cables is evident, the scaffolding should not be used until it can be repaired or replaced. If any other defects are noted, they must be addressed before operation.
Scaffold accidents are much too common in the construction field and are amongst the most dangerous types of incidents that can occur. By their very nature, scaffolds are used to suspend people higher in the air than a ladder can reasonably reach. Whenever heights are involved, safety precautions must be followed precisely, as a simple fall can be fatal.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a scaffold or other construction accident, ensuring that proper protocols were followed is the first step in determining just what went wrong. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case. A qualified lawyer can obtain access to important maintenance records and help with a full investigation into the incident.