This week families and friends of the construction workers injured at Wake Technical Community College's North Raleigh campus are supporting their loved ones as they start recovering; some are mourning the loss of one worker. A 200' wooden pedestrian bridge collapsed on campus as workers started pouring concrete, and their injuries are a result of the fall. According to the North Carolina Department of Labor, the most common construction safety violations involve falls - as of 2011.
The surviving construction workers suffer a range of injuries, from a broken leg to neck and spinal injuries. The survivors will need surgeries, physical therapy, and pain management during their recovery - and possibly for some time to come.
The question now plagues survivors, their loved ones, and co-workers: What caused the bridge to collapse? Investigations are starting. No fault has been revealed yet. Whether this was a result of a worker failing to follow safety protocol, an engineering error, or faulty materials remains to be seen.
If the Wake Tech bridge collapse was a result of the employer's failure to comply with safety procedures, North Carolina workers' compensation offers an addition 10% in benefits to the injured worker. Similarly, should a worker be found in violation - their benefits will be reduced 10%.
According to WRAL, Skanska USA is the general contractor for the pedestrian bridge, "but Skanska Senior Vice President Allen Jones said the men who were killed and injured worked for Raleigh-based Central Concrete of North Carolina, a subcontractor on the project." North Carolina construction accidents are not common for Central Concrete. News reports revealed Central Concrete only has a single violation record for workplace safety in nearly 2 decades in operation.
Sadly, this construction accident comes nearly two years to the day of the trench collapse on North Carolina State University's Raleigh campus that killed a worker. Now more families in Raleigh will be exploring workers' compensation benefits and workers' compensation death benefits. Brent Adams & Associates has an entire department dedicated for the representation of injured workers, and our firm's principal Brent Adams is board-certified in trial law. As workers and their loved ones explore their rights under state law, we wish them a speedy recovery and encourage them to explore options. Brent Adams authored a book about workers' compensation that is available free to injured workers. Contact our firm for a complimentary consultation, a copy of the book, or both.