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Worker falls 50 feet in construction accident

A workplace accident at Lincoln High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan resulted in the hospitalization of a construction worker after he suffered an approximately 50 foot fall on the morning of January 31. The accident occurred at approximately 11 a.m. as two employees were engaged in doing work on a steel truss at the school while riding in a boom lift. The men were employed by Clark Construction, which is in the process of creating an addition to the school, including a new auditorium.

The weld they were placing on the truss broke, and when it pulled out of a support pocket, it was flung into the bucket of the lift. This had the effect of tossing both of the workers out of the lift bucket, with one of them remaining trapped in the air suspended upside down from a safety harness 35 feet above the ground. Co-workers later managed to lower him to the ground, and as a result, he suffered shoulder pain.

The second worker suffered a 40 foot fall onto a cement wall, after which he suffered a second fall into a pit, landing approximately 8 feet below ground level. While conscious, he suffered great distress from his injuries. It took emergency responders from the Huron Valley Ambulance company and the Augusta Township Fire Department, assisted by the Washtenew County Sheriff's Officer school officer to pull this worker from the depth of the pit.

He was then rushed by air to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where he was described as in serious condition, but also stable.

Employers have a duty to provide employees with a safe working environment. The causes of the accident are being investigated by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Source: Ann Arbor.com, "Police release more details on construction accident at Lincoln High School," Kyle Feldscher, Feb. 1, 2012

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