Many workers die in construction accidents, especially those that involves falls. A fall is not to be taken lightly; even a minor fall can cause serious injuries or death. One Florida construction worker was killed after a scaffolding fall while working in a college auditorium.
The fatal construction accident occurred on the morning of Jan. 16. The 60-year-old man was working on an air conditioning system at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. He was in the Bininger Performing Arts Building on a catwalk working on scaffolding when he fell 30 to 40 feet to the ground.
Emergency crews arrived at the scene and found the man on the floor. He was put on life support and taken to a local hospital, where he later died. The man was an employee for Universal Control. It is still unknown what caused the accident. No students were involved.
Whenever a workplace death occurs, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will assess and investigate the accident scene. They will attempt to determine what caused the accident and who should be held liable. The agency also looks to see if any safety regulations were violated. If so, the company could be cited and fined.
An autopsy was likely performed after the accident to determine if the worker suffered from a medical emergency that contributed to his fall. If he did, this may reduce the employer’s liability. If the employer is at fault, though, the company could face a wrongful death lawsuit by the man’s family. While there are death benefits available through workers’ compensation, an employer who is determined to have been liable could be taken to civil court in order to hold the company responsible.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Construction worker falls to his death at Eckerd College” No author given, Jan. 16, 2014