Work resumed today at McDowell High School where eight workers were injured Monday due to a scaffold collapse.
Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, rescuers were called to the Beam Construction site where an auxiliary gym is being constructed at the high school.
Fifteen construction workers laying block fell 35 to 40 feet into a pile of construction material after the 60-foot scaffold collapsed. The accident sent eight victims to the hospital, two with serious injuries.
Officials from McDowell EMS, Rescue Squad, Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Department, first-responders and members from all McDowell County fire departments responded and assisted at the accident.
As of Tuesday morning, there was no report of the condition of any of the victims, nor have any of their names been released.
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Beam Construction was in charge of the work site and released this statement:
“An accident occurred at the McDowell High School Jobsite Monday morning at approximately 10:15 a.m. Seven Beam Construction employees and one subcontractor employee were injured. Four employees were treated and released from the hospital. At the present time, the cause of the accident is unknown and is under further investigation. Beam called OSHA to report the accident and OSHA has been to the site and is investigating the cause as well. Our main concern and focus is on the well-being of our employees and their families. We appreciate the quick response by the McDowell County EMS Team, Fire Department, and the Sheriff’s Department and their professional care for our employees. We have no further comment at this time.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor website, five planned OSHA inspections for Beam Construction yielded no violations.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) officials are investigating the construction site, and the investigation can take anywhere from a few weeks to six months, depending on the complexity of the accident.
During their investigation, OSHA will be looking to see if fall protection was provided for employees on scaffolds higher than 10 feet, if load limits were observed, and if the scaffolds were inspected by a “competent person.”
According to OSHA’s website, a “scaffold must be sound, rigid and sufficient to carry its own weight, plus four times the maximum intended load without settling or displacement.”
Officials from OSHA in Raleigh stated that preliminary reports of the investigation have not been released.