OSHA Investigates: Man Killed By Falling Tape Measure

Freak accidents can occur on construction sites or in other work zones, especially when proper safety precautions are not in place. In a tragic case, a construction worker was killed when a tape measure fell over 50 stories and struck the worker on the head. According to reports, the 58-year-old man was bringing dry wall to the site when he was struck with a tape measure that had fallen from the belt of a worker on the high rise. The object was only 1-pound, but had the power to kill the man who stood below.

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Witnesses reported that before it struck the victim, the tape measure hit another piece of metal approximately 15 feet from the ground, the ricocheted before it caused the fatal injury. The case is a reminder of the importance of proper training and equipment on a worksite. Usually construction sites are gated and include signs that remind workers, visitors, and others that it is a ‘hard hat area.’ According to reports, the victim was not wearing a hard hat at the time of the accident. He had stopped at another man’s truck to have a conversation. Witnesses say it was a clear case of “wrong place, wrong time.”

Immediately after he was struck in the head, he was rushed to the closest hospital where he went into cardiac arrest. The man was pronounced dead a short time later. Police records indicate that the employee was working for a Charlotte based company and had been delivering a product at the time of the accident. Other reports indicate that he was employed by a separate and independent trucking company. Regardless of his employer, the worker’s family will be entitled to wrongful death workers compensation benefits. An independent investigation should also be conducted to determine whether other liable third-parties can be targeted in a separate lawsuit.

Other recent cases have highlighted the potential for such “freak accidents” on construction worksites. OSHA is currently investigating the case to determine whether property owners or contractors were liable and should be fined. Though it may seem surprising that such a small object could be so deadly, any item that falls from tall buildings or other heights can be extremely dangerous to those below. The victim’s hard had was in his truck at the time of the accident and could have prevented him from such a serious head injury.

There are many known dangers on construction sites, including falls and injuries caused by heavy equipment. One of the most common injuries occurs when a worker is struck in the head by a moving or falling object. Construction sites can be chaotic, so it is important for all workers to have proper safety equipment and training to prevent such injuries and accidents. Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in the investigation of accidents and will aggressively defend the rights of workers and their families. While freak accidents can occur, all families should be fairly compensated and responsible individuals or entities should be held accountable.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-19

More Blog Entries:

Poole v. University of North Carolina – Vocational Rehabilitation Often Mandated, Aug. 11, 2014, Greenville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

Graven v. N.C. Dept. of Public Safety – Injuries From Holiday Lunch Accident Not Compensable, Aug. 15, 2014, Charlotte Work Injury Lawyer Blog

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