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Scaffolding collapse leaves one dead, two injured

The construction worker hung on for a week after a scaffolding accident, but yesterday he succumbed to the severe injuries he sustained in the 30-foot-fall.

One of the other two workers who fell in the collapse during construction of a school campus reportedly sustained severe injuries, while the other's injuries are described as moderate.

While the fall happened far from New York City, in Colorado, it's the kind of construction disaster that has happened far too often here.

The 35-year-old worker died in a hospital of "multiple traumatic injuries due to the fall," the coroner said. The man was surrounded by his family members when he passed away.

The coroner said investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the partial collapse of the scaffolding. The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has investigators looking at the construction site and trying to determine the cause of the fatal incident.

A Denver-based masonry company employed the three workers. The company didn't return phone calls placed to it by a local newspaper. A spokesperson for the general contractor on the job said the tragedy "reminds us how dangerous construction can be."

Here in New York, in similar cases, workers injured in a scaffold collapse or fall can recover more than just workers' compensation. Because of New York's special "scaffold law," injured workers can receive workers' comp, full wages and benefits, plus medical expenses and compensation for pain and suffering.

If you know someone who has sustained an injury in a scaffold fall, urge them to protect their interests by talking to an attorney before speaking with an employer or company insurance representative.

Source: The Flume: "Worker injured in scaffolding collapse dies Wednesday" by Laurie Allen: Aug. 3, 2011

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