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North Carolina construction accident kills 3 and injures 1

Unfortunately, there have been multiple workplace accidents in North Carolina recently. Most recently, several hours east in the state's capital, a scaffolding accident occurred when scaffolding broke free from a high rise construction project. The scaffolding accident occurred when the scaffolding broke free from the façade of the project workers were working on. Several men were on the scaffolding when it broke free and the scaffolding fall resulted in the death of three workers and injured a fourth.

The on-the-job accident involved equipped referred to as a mast climber scaffold which transports workers up and down the façade of the building to different floors. One of the tracks on the piece of equipment snapped off several stories in the air and the mast climber scaffold collapsed to the ground, killing the three workers. A fourth construction worker was seriously injured in the construction accident. Two of the men who were killed were 33, another was 41 and the man that was injured was 53.

According to North Carolina's workplace safety agency, it will be some time before its investigation into the scaffolding accident is complete. Dozens of workers will be interviewed and the length of the investigation is estimated to last six months. The State Department of Labor is involved and can assign fines if violations are discovered.

A scaffolding subcontractor was in the process of dismantling the scaffolding on the building's exterior at the time of the accident. While the project's general contractor has only been cited once in the past ten years in North Carolina for a violation that was not considered serious, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records reveal that the scaffolding subcontractor has been assigned two serious safety violations in North Carolina in the past 10 years. A representative for the building's general contractor noted that the scaffolding subcontractor's only job was erecting and dismantling scaffolding at the site.

Workplace accidents pose a significant risk to workers and their families. Because workplace situations, especially at construction sites, can be complex and involve a number of parties at any one time, legal remedies are in place to help sort out those complexities and provide relief to victims and their families. Remedies for damages suffered in a workplace accident may be available through workers' compensation or, in some circumstances, claims against negligent third parties. Legal options are made available to victims to help them during a difficult time.

Source: KPLCTV.com, "Probe into fatal construction accident could take months," Jonathan Drew, et al., March 23, 2015

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