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Northridge Construction Site Accident Injures Four

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Four construction workers were injured in a Northridge scaffolding collapse accident on November 21, 2008, according to this CBS news report. The construction accident occurred at the four-story Village apartment complex that was under construction on the 9300 block of Corbin Avenue.

Investigators from the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) are looking into how and why this accident occurred. They are apparently looking into whether all procedures were followed and whether the workers were wearing harnesses at the time of the accident. The men, who have not been identified, took a three-story fall. One man was critically injured, two others suffered moderate injuries and one suffered minor injuries.

It is indeed a relief this 11/21/08 construction site scaffolding accident did not end in fatalities and I wish all four of these workers the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. It is sad that these were just hard-working men who were injured because of someone else’s negligence.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2007 Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries, the number of fatal falls in 2007 rose to 835 – a 39 percent increase since 1992. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction companies to train employees on how to work with scaffolding on construction sites. Each person on the scaffold must wear harnesses that are attached to stronger portions of the structure; not the scaffold. Periodic inspections of the scaffold are also recommended and the scaffold must be able to sustain four times the weight of the maximum load.

Also according to OSHA’s statistics, an average of 88 deaths occurred between the years 2000 and 2004 from scaffolds collapsing. About 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or the support giving way. Obviously something went horribly wrong at this Northridge construction site. OSHA has very specific standards when it comes to scaffolds and how they must be constructed and secured. Someone dropped the ball at this construction site.

Clearly, the injured workers will be covered under workers compensation benefits. However, California’s workers compensation benefits are embarrassingly low. The injured victims would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed Southern California construction accident attorney who will help establish the cause for this horrific accident and also determine who should be held responsible for the workers’ injuries.

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