Two men were recently killed in an Alabama construction accident after reportedly falling some 90 feet to the ground from a man-lift on the side of a bridge.
Officials with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration are investigating why the lift failed as the two men were reportedly placing wood under a bracket. Our Tuscaloosa construction accident lawyers understand the lift suddenly became detached from the side of the bridge as the two men were working.
Both men were employed by Montgomery County’s primary contractor, R.R. Dawson Bridge Company, the company tapped to construct a multi-million dollar bridge at Highway 80 East which would pass over Interstate 85. This was just one portion of a 10-bridge project.
County sheriff’s officials have called the deaths of the two men, one from Montgomery and one from Birmingham, accidental.
While no one may intend for injuries or deaths to occur on construction job sites, the reality is they most assuredly will happen unless proper procedures are taken to prevent hazards. This means taking special care to prevent falls in particular, which account for one-third of all construction industry fatalities.
Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign intended to raise awareness among construction employers about the dangers of falls, and to urge extensive precautions taken in order to protect workers.
The three primary kinds of falls in construction occur from roofs, ladders and scaffolds, according to the CDC.
Starting with roofs, the CDC, along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, recommends:
When working on ladders, employees are encouraged to:
On scaffolding, workers should make sure to:
Many construction falls and other related injuries stem from the fact that construction contractors failed to provide the right equipment or properly train workers or ensure that safety checks were part of the routine.
In an addition to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, an Alabama worker injured in a construction accident may, depending on the particular situation, also seek recovery from a third party. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a recovery against a third party is not capped by the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Statute.
2 people killed in accident at bridge construction site on Highway 80 in Montgomery (updated), Jan. 8, 2014, By Erin Edgemon, AL.com
Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, Updated February 2014, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention