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How many times do construction workers have to fall to their deaths before proper guardrails or other barriers are put in place? The St. Petersburg Times reports another worker has died after a fall of some 10 stories.

Construction worker dies in 10-story fall off lift

A construction worker fell to his death Monday morning from the 10th floor of a condominium complex.

Howard Theriot, 31, of St. Petersburg, was working for a subcontractor, Commercial Plaster, when he appeared to accidentally step off the lift he was standing on at the Mangrove Cay condominiums, said St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Lt. Rick Feinberg.

The lift, which allows workers to access the outside of the 14-story building, did not appear to have guardrails on its ends, Feinberg said.

Over the past 35 years I have investigated and prosecuted claims involving falls from lifts, through openings and off floors. The common safety failure is the lack of a barricade, a guardrail, a cover or a barrier. Every worker is going to have a moment when his life will depend on the safety features at a construction site. Too often these safety features are not in place. When that is the case there is only the possibility of a civil action for wrongful death damages that may increase the meager compensation provided by the workers’ compensation law in the State of Florida.

But, why must the bereaved families of the deceased construction workers continue to discover that construction site safety took a backseat to staying on schedule?

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