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Tampa Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Construction Accident > Construction Worker Dies After Falling in Shaft

Construction Worker Dies After Falling in Shaft


In the construction industry, struck-by accidents are common. Workers can get hit by an object and lose their balance, causing them to fall many feet to the ground. These accidents are often catastrophic and even deadly.

Sadly, this was recently the case in Orange County. Rescue workers extricated a worker from a shaft, but the man later died.

The fatal construction accident happened at around noon on March 20. Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were called to the construction site, which is located at Palm and Central Florida parkways, west of Interstate 4. A worker had fallen down a 20-foot shaft.

Orange County Fire Rescue performed a technical rescue to extricate the worker. Once the man was rescued, he was taken to AdventHealth’s Palm Parkway ER, where he later died.

According to deputies, it appeared as if the man was struck by something. There were no signs of foul play. The death is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA confirmed they opened an inspection after the incident.

Falls Down Building Shafts

Open holes and building shafts are common in construction, demolition, and renovation works. These shafts are dangerous, as falls through unprotected openings and building shafts are a serious hazard to workers that can result in serious injuries and death. In fact, falls through open holes still remain a major risk on a construction site.

A building shaft is defined as a continuous vertical space that is enclosed on all sides. It has space for two or more floors and includes elevator shafts, ventilation shafts, stairwells, and service shafts. These are not the same as floor holes, which may include  manholes, skylights, missing floorboards, and roof and floor drains.

Open building shafts can be a liability issue. Generally, it is the responsibility of an employer, general contractor, or owner to ensure that building shafts are covered securely. This often means making sure it is capable of supporting any load placed on it. Any covering should cover the entire opening. In addition, the area should be provided with toe boards and guardrails.

Falls down building shafts can occur in any of the following situations:

  • Unguarded openings
  • Improperly secured openings
  • Covers that cannot support weight
  • Material falling through the openings
  • Clutter, debris, and equipment covering openings
  • Poor lighting
  • Improper labeling

Covers on building shafts should completely cover the opening. They should be securely fastened and labeled correctly. They should also be able to support any load that may be encountered on the work site.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Construction sites are not safe places to work. A construction accident can happen in an instant, causing serious injuries or death.

Get effective legal help from a Tampa construction accident attorney from Moore Law. We understand how dangerous construction jobs are and how devastating these injuries can be long-term. Schedule a free consultation by calling 813-510-5400 or filling out the online form.



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