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Unsecured scaffold plank causes fatal workplace injury

There are many life-threatening hazards that construction workers in Oklahoma and other states encounter every day. Scaffold structures are some of the dangers that are often cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors as unsafe. In fact, it is not uncommon for OSHA inspectors to forbid workers' access to unsafe scaffolds by issuing stop work orders. This action is typically taken to prevent workplace injury.

It is not only the lives of those workers on top of a scaffold that are threatened by structures that are not built according to prescribed regulations, but also others moving about the construction site. A 27-year-old out-of-state worker recently died when an unsecured plank fell from a scaffold and struck the man as he was preparing to go home at the end of his shift. Officers arrived to find the man unconscious with severe injuries to his back and neck, to which he succumbed later.

It was reported that the building department had previously issued stop work orders for unsafe scaffolding at this site. That order was reportedly reinstated after this most recent fatality that occurred during the dismantling of the scaffolding. It was said that the family of the deceased man has many questions about the employer's compliance with safety regulations.

Whenever an Oklahoma worker has suffered a fatal workplace injury, the surviving family members are entitled to file workers' compensation death benefits claims. These benefits typically include compensation for end-of-life expenses along with a financial package to cover a portion of lost wages. This will be based on the deceased worker's average income level and is meant to assist the dependents with living expenses for a particular period after the worker's death.

Source: abc7ny.com, "Exclusive: Construction worker killed at Greenwich Village site by falling scaffolding", Carolina Leid, April 22, 2016

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