(Photo Caption: Trusses like the one shown above can present many dangers to construction workers.)
In Iron Mountain, Michigan, two workers were hospitalized after trusses collapsed at a construction site, the Pierce County Herald reports. The men reportedly fell from the platform where they were working.
Trusses are pieces of the interior framework that typically support roofs. Since trusses are installed from a significant height (usually six feet or more), they present serious hazards to construction workers. Their bulkiness and weight also put workers at risk, since trusses aren’t entirely stable until firmly attached to surrounding beams.
According to Michigan’s Construction Safety and Health Division, two fatal truss accidents have occurred in recent years. The accidents happened largely because the trusses weren’t built properly in the first place.
“Wood trusses without proper [support beams] can be like dominoes during construction; push one over and they all collapse,” the Health Division said in a recent report.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adds that accidental falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, particularly for truss installers.
“If a worker falls while using a single truss as an anchor point, the whole truss assembly can collapse,” OHSA says. “Such a structural failure puts workers’ lives and entire buildings at risk.”
If you’ve been a victim of a truss accident, you may have grounds for legal compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. All of our initial consultations are free and confidential.