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Calls For Tougher Scaffolding Regulations After Fatal Collapse

Dan Brian   |  March 30, 2015   |  

As a state and federal investigation continues into the deadly collapse at a downtown Raleigh high-rise, calls are mounting for tougher scaffolding regulations.

Safety Violations

  • In the meantime, we’ve learned Occupational Safety and Health Administration records show Associated Scaffolding was issued serious safety violations twice in North Carolina in the past 10 years.
  • A 2007 citation says it was related to access equipment for scaffold platforms, while a 2008 citation says the violation was related to storage of welding materials.

Officials say the accident occurred as subcontractor Associated Scaffolding was in the process of dismantling the scaffold on the building’s exterior.

Tragic Deaths

Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41, Anderson Almeida, 33, both of Durham, and Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33, of Clinton, were killed when the scaffold broke free from the façade of the 11-story Charter Square project on Fayetteville Street.

Elmer Guevara, 53, was seriously injured and at last check, remains hospitalized at WakeMed.

Authorities say it remains unknown why one of the tracks had snapped off, several stories up, falling to the ground below. On Thursday, crews removed the rest of the scaffolding from the side of the building. The accident involved equipment known as a mast climber scaffold, which moves up and down a building’s facade to take workers to different floors.

Investigators say the probe into a deadly scaffolding collapse, could take months to determine whether any workplace safety violations occurred.

Free Legal Advice

Filing a successful wrongful death claim can be complex, so it is important to have an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. At Riddle & Brantley, we will explain the specifics of filing a claim and answer all of your questions so you can make informed decisions moving forward.