Armando’s fall from a scaffold

The story is true, but the name is changed.


Armando had been working on a scaffold about 20 feet high. The scaffold was not attached to the building, and it was erected near a garage entrance. A speeding forklift shot out of the garage and sideswiped the scaffold. The hit caused the scaffold to topple over, causing Armando to hit the ground hard, smashing his head and breaking some bones and even puncturing his lung.

In a panic, the workers were instructed to move Armando below a tree and make him comfortable. The employees were instructed to clean up the accident site and eliminate any evidence.  They were afraid that OSHA or the insurance company would show up and start an investigation.

Once everything was cleaned up, they drove him to the hospital emergency room.

He never fully recovered and was incapable of returning to work.

There obviously was a problem with the forklift driver. However, if the scaffold had been attached to the building, or if he was wearing a harness attached to a separate safety line, this terrible accident wouldn’t have happened.

Also, there is a real problem when covering evidence is more important than the life of a worker! Imagine the morale of all the other employees asked to do this illegal action for such unethical reasons. Imagine the trauma and lack of trust!

It is never a good idea to hide accidents because how can we learn from them and prevent them in the future?

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