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Scaffolding collapse sends two to hospital

With all the skyscrapers in New York, it's no wonder so many people are employed washing their windows, performing their scheduled maintenance or repairing their fixtures. Given how dangerous scaffolding is, it is also no surprise how often people are injured doing these and other similar tasks.

Just how easy it is for scaffolding accidents to occur is underscored by a recent scaffolding collapse in Abilene, Texas. Two workers performing improvements on the Hendrick Medical Center were sent to the hospital when the scaffolding they were working on collapsed. Four workers underneath the scaffolding escaped without serious injury. Witnesses later told reporters that the general contractor on the site had told workers not to call OSHA, the federal agency that enforces safe work environment standards, about anything. OSHA investigators are now on scene trying to figure out what happened.

There is some danger inherent any time a worker is focusing on a task while perched perilously high on a temporary structure like scaffolding. It's simply too easy to get lost in work and lose your balance as it is. But if you add a supervisor who is cutting corners or warning workers not to get OSHA involved, it adds an extra level of danger.

New York residents who are injured because of scaffolding should not immediately assume they are at fault. Working on or around scaffolding is a dangerous business and a worker might be able to recover for medical bills, lost wages or disability if he or she is hurt in such a manner.

Source: KTXS News, "Construction Company, Hospital Address Concerns Over Scaffolding Accident," Jocelyn Tovar, 21 June 2011.

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