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Scaffold collapse blamed for work accident in water tower

Any workplace environment in Bergen County can become the scene of an accident, but there are some jobs that are considered more dangerous than others. The U.S. Department of Labor points out that construction workers often suffer serious injuries and the No. 1 cause is falls. This is not surprising since workers in this industry often perform tasks while standing on scaffolds several feet above the ground. If the platform they are using has any defects within it, the results could be disastrous.

This was the case for one man who was working across the river in another state. Apparently, he and another worker were in the process of painting the inside of a water tower, which rises almost 200 feet from the ground. The man incurred injuries to his back, neck and head when he fell a distance of almost 40 feet. It is unknown how serious the injuries were but first responders stated that he was conscious and alert throughout the rescue. He was immediately transported to a local hospital by air.

Using an air chair, firefighters at the scene managed to retrieve the man through the bottom of the tower, rather than pulling him out. The scaffolding he was standing on appeared to have collapsed but there was no information on what may have caused it to do so. The worker’s current status was not revealed.

When a worker is injured, he or she has the right to submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These payments are intended to cover a portion of the employee’s wages during the recovery period and to pay for all medical care related to the accident or illness. People who are in this type of situation may find it helpful to meet with a knowledgeable attorney for guidance.

Source: WPXI, “Rescue crews free worker who fell inside empty water tower in Fox Chapel,” Nov. 14, 2016

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