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Ladder jack scaffold fall leads to fatal workplace injuries

Workers who are employed in industries that require them to work on scaffolds are extremely vulnerable if their employers fail to comply with safety regulations that are prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Falls are reported to represent a significant percentage of workplace fatalities nationwide, including in California. The family of a worker in another state had to face the shocking news of his death after he suffered fatal workplace injuries when he fell from a scaffold.

The work accident reportedly happened on a recent Monday morning at a building site at a residential house. The man, who was employed by a contractor, was reportedly 14 feet off the ground on a ladder jack scaffold when he fell from the structure. This type of scaffold is erected by placing scaffolding planks on brackets that are attached to ladders to form a platform on which workers can stand. According to the accident report, the worker was declared dead upon the arrival of emergency workers only minutes after the fatal fall.

The number of deaths from scaffold falls in North Carolina, which is where this worker was killed, is a reason for significant concern. In March, three workers lost their lives when a scaffold collapsed. They were part of a construction crew that was working on an office building. Another fatal scaffold incident occurred in the same state in January of last year when one worker was killed.

The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Division is reportedly investigating the latest accident, and it will determine whether this worker's death involved safety violations related to the level of safety training provided and whether appropriate fall protection equipment was used. When California families lose loved ones who have suffered fatal workplace injuries, they may be entitled to pursue claims for death benefits through the workers' compensation insurance fund. Death benefits typically include coverage of funerals and burials, along with financial packages for covered dependents, based on the deceased worker's last recorded income.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, "Worker dies after fall from scaffolding in Ballantyne", Ames Alexander, July 7, 2015

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