Three died and two injured in Charlotte scaffolding collapse

On Monday morning, January 2, an industrial accident involving a scaffolding collapse occurred in the Dilworth Area of Charlotte, North Carolina. The incident resulted in the deaths of three construction workers, with two others being injured.

Reports from Charlotte Fire Department stated that the incident happened sometime after 9 a.m. at a construction site situated on East Morehead Street near Euclid Avenue.

The construction is said to be a residential building owned by Bridgewood Property Company and listed under Hanover RS East Construction, LLC. The project was called Villages on Morehead.

Hannah Goetz from Channel 9 reportedly called the number listed on the permit. However, the company representative had no comment about the accident.

According to Charlotte Fire captain Jackie Gilmore, the fire fatalities and injuries resulted from a scaffolding collapse. The scaffolding could be seen hanging alongside a building. There was another scaffolding on the ground with pieces of wood scattered around.

Gilmore said they found the three workers who had fallen along with a collapsed scaffolding. The three construction workers fell 70 feet, and then a wall collapsed on them. They were pronounced dead at the scene. The officials have not released their identities.

Reports also stated two other construction workers with minor injuries. They were taken to the Atrium CMC hospital to receive medical attention.

Gilmore said all construction works at the site have been put on hold until the investigation is complete. The officials also said they had established a family reunification area.

President of Safety Priority Consultants Chip Darius said he worked to train for scaffolding safety and that the investigation of the incident would be thorough.

“The investigation will be very thorough in an incident like this,” Darius said. “Every piece, every part, every bolt, every nut, every component, who put it together, who was using it, what was being done — all those things will be looked at very closely.”

The cause of scaffolding collapse is still unclear at this point. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are currently investigating the case.

Fatal work injuries statistics

According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fatal work injuries in the United States rose by 8.9% in 2021, with a total of 5,190 fatalities recorded. This is an increase from the 4,764 fatal work injuries recorded in 2020.

The fatal work injury rate, which measures the number of fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 FTE in 2020 to 3.6 per 100,000 FTE in 2021.

The scaffolding collapse incident occurred shortly after another notable fatal work-related accident at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama. The accident, which took place at around 2:20 p.m. on December 31, 2022, resulted in the death of a ground crew member.

The incident occurred on the airport ramp where Flight 3408, an Embraer E175 twin-jet, was parked and scheduled to depart for Dallas-Fort Worth that afternoon. There were reports that one of the running engines of the airplane may have been the cause of the employee’s death.

The identity of the employee has not been released and the FAA is currently investigating the incident. The incident prompted the closure of airport operations for several hours, grounding all incoming and outgoing flights until around 8:30 p.m.