Articles Tagged with falls

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Personal Injury Lawyers HuntsvilleThe Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) recently released its Top 10 list of safety violations for 2021. This list includes the most-cited safety issues by OSHA. I always study the list and compare it to prior years.

What do you see when you look at the annual Top 10 safety violation list? If you read the annual list, you will quickly notice the same dangerous violations seem to make the list every year. Some of the safety issues might move up-or-down a couple places. But, the same problems exist every year. And, one violation seems to take the top spot almost every single year.

What is the top safety violation year-after-year? Fall protection! In fact, fall protection has ranked number one for the last 11 straight years. In recent years, I’ve represented numerous workers who suffered disabling personal injuries in worksite falls from heights. I’ve also represented families who lost a loved one in a worksite fall. All of these tragedies had one thing in common — Management could have prevented the serious accident with a few simple safety procedures.

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scaffold-14253_640-300x201A widow recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the fatal fall of her husband in the workplace. The news article tells a story all too familiar to me. What happened? The worker was standing on a mobile scaffold and installing tile. The mobile scaffold toppled backwards, causing the worker to fall.

Falls from heights are a leading cause of workplace fatalities. And, this new wrongful death case highlights another example of a fall that could have easily been prevented. In the last decade, I’ve represented numerous workers and their families involving work site falls. Falls from scissors lifts. Falls from scaffolds. Falls from other mobile platforms. Falls from unmarked openings. Falls from unstable support structures. I’ve had cases involving each of them. All these terrible fall accidents have a common issue — They all could have been prevented with a little advance safety planning by management. In every one of them, an accident altered the life of a worker and his/her family in an instant.

In the new wrongful death case, the widow alleges the scaffold equipment was not working properly. She also alleges the scaffold equipment did not come with written materials explaining proper operations. I’m not surprised. That’s a common issue. I’ve seen it in several of my fall injury cases. In my past cases, I’ve seen workers asked to operate complex mobile lifts at heights with zero training and zero instruction. I’ve seen workers asked to operate mobile lifts with no ground-level supervision or spotter. I’ve seen workers asked to operate mobile lifts with no consideration of co-workers moving around them on the site. Management simply ignored the risks.

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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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