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Articles Tagged with fall safety

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BLACKWELL-LAW-FIRM-ALABAMA-WORKPLACE-SAFETY-LAWYERS-300x300The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced the Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for 2019. What were they?

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements
  2. Hazard Communication
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Blackwell Law Firm -- Alabama Accident & Injury Trial LawyersFalls from heights are a leading cause of death and disability on construction sites. According to OSHA, falls cause one-third (1/3) of all construction-related deaths. Workers who survive long falls are often left with a lifetime of chronic pain and disability. In my practice, I’ve had numerous clients who suffered severe injury from falls on construction or industrial sites. I’ve seen many types of falls from heights. Yet, one piece of equipment has been involved in far too many disabling falls — The Scissors Lift.

A recent headline told the tragic story of a young man who died when 50 mile per hour winds toppled the extended lift from which he was working. The death was easily preventable with just a little safety planning. No worker should be required to use a lift outside in bad weather. Too often, deaths like this one go unmentioned. This time, the event made national news. It involved a college student working for the athletic department of a major university. What are a few easily preventable scissors lift falls I’ve seen as an attorney?

  • Case Number 1: The scene was a large construction project on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The contractor was using extended, moving scissors lifts to erect the metal ceiling. A lift toppled because the concrete floor below was uneven. The worker fell almost 30 feet. He survived but was left permanently and totally disabled. The accident could have easily been prevented. Yet, the safe use of lifts was never addressed prior to the fall. After a week-long trial, we were able to recover damages for the severely disabled worker.
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Redstone_Arsenal-300x240Look at a map of northern Alabama. You cannot miss it. A huge area of federal land next to Huntsville and Madison. It’s Redstone Arsenal.

It’s not just the huge amount of land. Redstone Arsenal plays a huge role in our community and economy. A 2010 study revealed Redstone accounted for 6% of Alabama’s GDP. The area continues to grow! Because of the significant traffic and movement in and around Redstone each day, it’s not surprising that serious personal injuries occur on this facility just like they do elsewhere. What happens when someone suffers a car accident on Redstone Arsenal? What happens when someone suffers a personal injury on Redstone Arsenal of any type?

Two years ago, I tried a case in Madison County where a construction worker fell while working at a building project on Redstone. My client suffered tremendous and disabling injuries in the fall. The case was not against the federal government. We claimed the general contractor (a private construction company) created an unsafe and dangerous worksite. We were able to help our client recover both compensatory damages and workers compensation benefits for his injures.

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