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North Carolina fines companies in fatal scaffolding fall

Three companies have been fined by the North Carolina Department of Labor in relation to a scaffolding accident that claimed the lives of three workers. One of the companies was cited for violations that were noted as willful and serious. Three of the four violations that one of the companies was cited for were described as willful and serious and resulted in a $151,900 fine. Each of the other two companies is facing a $4,200 fine for violations that were noted as serious.

Three men were killed and a fourth was injured in the scaffolding fall when the scaffolding that the men were on fell to the ground. A 41-year old man and two 33-year old men were killed in the accident; the seriously injured construction worker was 53. Specific violations that one of the companies was fined for included not having a competent individual available for work on safety procedures to prevent worker falls; not having safety equipment properly installed according to manufacturer specifications; overloading scaffolding; and failing to inspect scaffolding.

The two companies facing smaller fines were cited for failing to have a qualified individual train employees. The workers' union had hoped for the steepest fines possible and noted that negligent companies result in worker deaths. When workers and their families suffer a workplace accident it impacts them on many levels. Victims and their families suffer physically, emotionally and financially as they may lose a loved one and their livelihood.

Because of the potentially devastating nature of a workplace accident, it is important that victims and their families are familiar with workers' compensation options, including death benefit options, which may be available to victims and their families. There are a number of legal options available to protect workers depending on the circumstances that victims and their families are facing. Accordingly, it is important for them to be aware of all available options following a workplace accident.

Source: Insurance Journal, "North Carolina Fines Companies Involved in Fatal Scaffolding Accident," Martha Waggoner, Sept. 25, 2015

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