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Scaffold Malfunction Leaves Two Boston Window Washers Dangling 37 Floors

In Boston, the lives of two window washers were left hanging 37 floors above a street in the Financial District when the scaffold they were standing on collapsed. Julio Ortiz and Kyle Redmond banged on the windows of the skyscraper they were working on, calling for help.

Firefighters broke the windows, working carefully to pull the two window washers back into the building. The two men managed to stay tethered to rigging connected to the roof while they stood on the now slanted platform.

Redmond was treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries and later released from the emergency room. Ortiz did not sustain serious injuries.

The two window washers are employed by Harvard Maintenance Company.

Scaffolding Accidents
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 88 workers died in scaffolding accidents in 2007. 72% of the workers that got hurt in scaffold accidents say the work accident happened because the support or planking gave way or because the worker was hit by a falling object or slipped. These kinds of scaffold accidents are preventable.

Scaffolds are often used by window washers, construction workers, and others whose jobs require them to work from great heights outside buildings and other large structures. A scaffolding that collapses can result in fatal fall accidents, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries.

Window washers, construction workers, and others injured in Boston work accidents are likely entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits. They may also be able to sue a negligent third party for personal injury or wrongful death. For example, if a scaffold collapsed because it was defective or malfunction and its manufacturer could have prevented the accident from happening, then the injured party may have grounds for a Boston products liability lawsuit.

A lurch and a lifeline 37 floors up, Boston.com, August 6, 2009
Window washers rescued from 37-story plunge as platform collapses, Boston Herald, August 6, 2009
Scaffolding, US Dept. of Labor

Related Web Resources:
High Risk: Despite Regulations, Scaffold Accidents Continue, Safety.com
OSHA

Our Boston personal injury law firm has helped many injured workers recover compensation for their work injuries.