A 25-year-old construction worker partaking in the massive renovation of Texas A&M's stadium fell to his death from the fourth level of the building. Angel Garcia fell while working on the north end of Kyle Field.
Sadly, in the world of construction -- a potentially high hazard industry for those who work in it -- falls top the list of construction safety hazards.
Fatal Falls in Construction
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 668 workers in 2012 alone.
The following hazards cause the most fall-related injuries:
- Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes;
- Improper scaffold construction;
- Unguarded protruding steel rebars; and
- Misuse of portable ladders.
Workplace accidents like Garcia's generally trigger a federal investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In this case, Texas A&M System, Manhattan-Vaughan Construction, OSHA, and the Texas A&M University Police Department are all investigating the incident, reports United Press International.
Kyle Field Renovation Project
The stadium known as Kyle Field is home to the Aggies. Boasting one of the top ranked football teams in the country this season, Texas A&M is expanding its stadium to boost its seating capacity to 102,000, reports Reuters.
The $450 million renovation project began just after the team's final home game of the season last month.
Larger construction projects like this typically involve a great deal of delegation of both work and legal responsibility between the property owner, general contractor, and a variety of sub-contractors.
Currently, the circumstances of Garcia's fall are unclear. All that's been reported is that he fell while working on the north end of the stadium and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
A slew of parties can potentially be held liable for accidents in large-scale construction projects, but liability primarily depends on the extent of a potential party's control over the premises on which the work is being done, and the degree of their control over the work itself.
Factors that will likely be examined include the presence of dangerous conditions, any potential OSHA violations, and perhaps the failure to take precautions against falls.
Once an investigation is complete, Garcia's family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the entity deemed at fault for the fatal fall.
- Construction worker dies after fall at Texas A&M stadium (CBS Sports)
- Buffalo Bills Fan Falls From Stadium's 3rd Deck; 2 Injured (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- 49ers Fan Dies After Fall at Candlestick Park (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Chicago Bears Fan's Fatal Fall at Soldier Field an Accident (FindLaw's Injured)