Sixteen people were injured – three critically – when wooden scaffolding covering a Downtown San Diego pedestrian walkway collapsed along a housing construction site Aug. 28, according to this 10News report. Paramedics reportedly transported three people, a 50-year-old man and two women, ages 57 and 60, to an area hospital to treat what was classified as “life-threatening” injuries. At least 12 others are receiving treatment for moderate to minor injuries from the San Diego Construction Accident.
State investigations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CAL-OSHA) are investigating this incident to find out what caused it and how it occurred. The builder of the affordable housing project, Allgire General Contractors Inc. of Carlsbad, closed the site down immediately after the collapse and ordered that all work be stopped at the site until an investigation is complete and adequate safety measures are taken. All victims were between 16 and 64 years old, the report said.
According to OSHA’s statistics, an average of 88 deaths occurred between the years 2000 and 2004 from scaffolds collapsing. In a Bureau of Labor and Statistics study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way. OSHA has very specific standards when it comes to scaffolds and how they must be constructed and secured.
The news report states that the injured victims were walking under the scaffolding when it suddenly collapsed. If I were representing the victims, I would definitely want to start investigating the scaffolding collapse right away. I would look into defective construction and whether the construction company followed all the OSHA-specified safety standards and procedures.
The injured victims in San Diego will be well advised to retain the services of a reputed personal injury law firm that has the resources and the firepower to independently investigate the incident and pinpoint the cause. It could take several weeks for OSHA to come up with the results of their investigation. I’ll bet the construction company has their insurance company representatives and attorneys already on site investigating and looking into ways to protect their interests. The victims need an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight for their rights and protect their interests.