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Construction fall fatally injures worker

Construction workers and their families know how quickly and easily a serious construction accident and injuries can happen on a work site.

Severe injuries can happen in a second. A piece of equipment fails, a fellow worker makes a mistake, safety gear isn't in place, and so on.

We read this morning of a construction accident far from Manhattan. A worker fell 10 feet from the rafters to the concrete floor and was killed on the spot on a Carthage, Missouri, work site.

Workers there are erecting a Masonic lodge.

"He was up in some rafters about 10 feet off the ground and they were jockeying to get stuff up in the rafters when it happened," a police department spokesperson said. "He fell headfirst and was unable to stop himself or cushion the fall. He died instantly."

Just like that, a fall from a relatively low height takes a life. Of course, in a fall, the severity of the injuries is dependent on how a person lands.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration says falls are a leading cause of deaths and injuries in the construction industry. There are more than 300 fatal falls each year involving ladders, scaffolding, floor holes, rafters, unprotected sides and other worksite hazards.

In fact, OSHA says about one third of all construction accident fatalities are due to falls from elevation.

Here in New York, we have what's known as the Scaffold Law to protect those who are required to work from heights. After a fall resulting in injury, it's wise to speak to an attorney experienced in this complex area of law to find out about your legal options.

Source: Carthage Press: "Carthage man dies in construction accident," John Hacker, Feb. 29, 2012

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