Construction dangers are evident after scaffold collapse

Construction work is a common vocation for many in North Carolina. This is particularly true for immigrants, many of whom are Latino. Since construction workers are at significant risk and so many immigrants are involved in this type of work, it is imperative to be aware of safety procedures, available options and how to be protected in every way.

The combination of workers’ compensation, immigrant rights and being treated fairly after there is an accident with injuries and fatalities has come to light after an investigation into a scaffold accident was completed with subcontractors being cited for violations. After construction accidents, it is imperative that workers understand their rights, especially those who are concerned about their immigration status.

Fines issued for construction worker deaths after scaffolding collapse

A scaffold accident that occurred in January led to the deaths of three construction workers. After the investigation, two subcontractors were fined a combined $130,000. The company that had erected the scaffold received a fine of $87,000. The other was fined $43,500.

The company that built the scaffold had committed six violations, including not repairing a damaged or weakened scaffold; using improper components that could not withstand the scaffold’s weight; and not inspecting the scaffold before every shift. The second company was fined for not constructing the scaffold based on its design and not having qualified people building it.

Statistics say construction dangers are worse for Latinos

Recent statistics show that Latino construction workers have a greater risk of being injured on the job or killed. The workers in the scaffold collapse were Latino. According to a report that was released in early 2023, fatalities for Hispanic workers in construction in 2020 were more than 41% higher than those for non-Hispanics.

This was consistent in North Carolina. Latinos comprised one of the highest rates for worker deaths in the state. While the study was being conducted, there were 260 Latino fatalities from injuries on the job. Dangerous worksites and a lack of proper training are referenced as reasons why this is the case.

People can file workers’ compensation and personal injury claims after an accident

So far in 2023, there have been five construction fatalities in Charlotte. Regardless of a person’s immigration status, they need to be up to date on their rights if they have been injured in a work accident or lost a loved one.

Workers’ compensation can make up for lost income, medical care and rehabilitative services. A personal injury claim could be needed in certain instances. This can affect anyone, but as this accident and previous research shows, Latinos are inherently vulnerable. Knowing how to proceed is imperative to maximizing the compensation in the aftermath.

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