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North Carolina scaffolding collapses: 8 injured at high school

Construction workers are typically aware of the increased risk of dangers that come from working in their industry. Dangers run the gamut from being injured while running dangerous equipment to scaffolding collapses when working above the ground. One recent scaffolding collapse led to eight workers suffering various injuries at a North Carolina high school. The construction workers were busy adding to an extension at McDowell High School in Marion.

The scaffolding collapse occurred in the morning on a recent Monday and caused eight workers to plummet nearly 40 feet as the scaffolding broke apart. Emergency workers rushed to the scene and had to free at least two workers who were cut off from easy escape after the collapse. One of those workers was trapped atop a wall made of cinder blocks for just under an hour. He narrowly missed the potential for serious injury considering that firefighters had just managed to free him when the area where he had been trapped fell away.

Six of the injured workers required transportation via ambulance to receive medical treatment. Two others were injured so seriously that emergency responders transported them via air for treatment of their injuries. There was no immediate word on the conditions of any of those injured workers.

This scaffolding collapse is now being investigated by the North Carolina Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Division. Workers who are injured in scaffolding collapses like this one will likely be able to file workers' compensation claims in order to have their medical expenses covered. Further, they could receive benefits allowing them to receive part or all of their normal pay while unable to return to their jobs. This can help alleviate some of the financial strain that their families would otherwise face while they are unable to work.

Source: wbtv.com, "Scaffolding collapse McDowell High School Marion NC injuries," Chris Dyches, Aug. 12, 2013

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