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Miami Scaffold Fall Claims Worker’s Life

Friday, August 19, 2016

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A construction worker in Florida died Wednesday (Aug. 17) of injuries sustained when the scaffolding he was working from collapsed, according to local media reports.

Reports indicate that 47-year-old Ernesto Rodriguez was killed in the incident, in Miami Beach, after falling at least 30 feet. The scaffolding is said to have collapsed after cabling attached to it was hit by a cement truck that was backing up.

Balcony Repairs

Residents told the Miami Herald that workers had been repairing balconies at the apartment complex, at the corner of Harding Avenue and 80th Street, for weeks. WSVN-TV reports that in the wake of the incident, the scaffolding the workers were on was “precariously hanging from the east wall of an apartment building, with one side higher than the other.”

Video from the scene shot by local TV news stations show that the platform in question appears to have been a “swing-stage” suspended type of scaffold. Exposed wood framing is evident on the balconies closest to where the scaffold is seen hanging.

OSHA Investigates

Police told reporters that no charges had been filed against the driver of the cement truck, and the tragedy appeared to be an accident; Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating.

“At this point, we do believe the individual was wearing some sort of safety apparatus. We don’t know, though, if it was properly connected,” Miami Beach police officer Ernesto Rodriguez (no relation to the victim) told WSVN.

It’s unclear as of Thursday (Aug. 18) what company the victim was working for at the time of the incident.

OSHA provides an eTool for education on the use of suspended scaffolds, noting that “even if a suspended scaffold has been assembled in compliance with every applicable standard, employers and workers must continue to exercise caution and use sound work practices to assure their safety.”


Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction; Fall protection; Good Technical Practice; North America; OSHA; Safety; Scaffolding

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