Training coordinator says most scaffolding accidents are preventable with proper training

Study finds need for more workers despite construction hiring boom

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Everywhere you look in South Florida, there is new construction.

And in the past few months, we have seen some terrifying construction accidents, from a man dangling off scaffolding in Key Biscayne to scaffolding crashing down on a busy Brickell street, where a man died after suffering a heart attack from the scare.

Another fall was reported in South Beach in January, leaving another family without a father. A worker was also injured last week in Miami Beach after he fell from scaffolding.

"There are only two things that will make a scaffold collapse: improper erection or one of the parts and pieces being damaged," Christopher Morrison said.

Morrison is the Florida state training coordinator for the Florida Carpenters Regional Council. 

He said his 40-hour course on scaffolding would prevent most accidents.

A recent survey of the builders and contractors in the state found that there is a need for more workers despite a hiring boom in construction.

Morrison said the increase in projects sometimes mean a decrease in trained available workers.

"I think it's a production type thing. They are trying to hurry up and get projects done without realizing the safety factor involved in it," he said.

It can be treacherous to work high up in the sky, which is even more reason, experts say, to invest in the workforce.

"One fall, one collapse, one fatality is your profit margin for three or four projects," Morrison said. "So take a minute, step back (and) do the proper training before you step on a job site."