Rios Law Firm PLLC

Harness can arrest fall from scaffolding but cause fatal injury

Construction workers in Arizona face the same hazards as those in other states. They are also entitled to equal protection from workplace hazards under state and federal laws as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Two construction workers in another state were fortunate to be rescued from where they were suspended from safety harnesses after the scaffolding on which they were working collapsed.

According to the incident report, the workers were on a scaffold when it collapsed for reasons yet to be determined. Fortunately, they were equipped with fall arrest harnesses, and they knew how to operate the protective gear. The harnesses arrested their falls, but it left them suspended approximately 35 feet above the ground.

Even though a fall harness can arrest a fall, a suspended worker can die if he or she is not rescued within about 10 minutes. Suspension trauma sets in within minutes because the restricting straps of the harness around the worker's legs can compromise blood circulation, preventing blood from reaching the heart and brain. Although these workers were rescued, their conditions were not reported.

Victims of scaffolding accidents in Arizona might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This could be a challenging time of temporary disability, and victims can endure stress caused by mounting medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, help is available from an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can navigate the benefits claim on the worker's behalf. Compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages, but if the worker suffered permanent disability, additional compensation might be awarded.

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