Earlier this year in downtown Houston, six construction workers were injured in a huge scaffolding collapse just outside a luxury apartment building that was under construction. The accident happened just blocks from Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros, and video from the scene showed the twisted metal wreckage of the scaffolding covering almost a full city block, which isn’t surprising, since the scaffolding covered most of the block and reached a height of about seven stories. Thankfully, according to the Houston Fire Department, the injured were all workers; no others were injured in the collapse, including first responders and passersby.
The accident happened at just after 11 a.m. Witnesses reported hearing something that resembled a small explosion, with a loud crack, followed by a boom, and when they looked to where the sound came from, they describe the scaffolding falling like a row of dominoes, followed by a thick cloud of dust that looked much like smoke. They all describe the collapse as happening very quickly.
The first units from the Houston Fire Department arrived within three minutes after receiving reports of the collapse at 11:10 a.m., and within a half hour, there were more than 30 units at the site, including heavy rescue personnel. It took several hours, but first responders eventually pulled the six workers out of the rubble and all were transported to local hospitals with injuries that were described as “non-life-threatening, but significant.”
Right after the accident, the Finger Companies, the company that owns the building under construction, issued the following statement: “We are monitoring the situation very closely and working alongside authorities as we try to determine the cause of this accident. In the meantime, we are grateful to the first responders on the scene and praying that everyone is OK.”
Courts and Federal Agencies Investigate Scaffolding Collapse
According to attorneys and experts who have been touring the site and examining the wreckage, the investigation is just beginning. In order to make sure all evidence is preserved, a judge’s order was obtained to preserve all of the scaffolding equipment as evidence so that it can be analyzed. As of right now, no one is sure whether the workers had insurance or were covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also examined the site of the workplace accident and will be doing so for several weeks and, eventually a report of their findings will be made available to attorneys and the general public. A number of safety experts note that, when scaffolding is put up the correct way, there is minimal risk, and when it collapses like that, something was done wrong.
Texas Workplace Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a workplace accident involving scaffolding, the skilled and experienced Workplace Injury Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm may be able to help protect your rights and get you compensation any injury resulting from someone else’s negligence. Contact us today to see how we can help.