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Construction worker injured in 3-story fall

By Lesley Covington
Senior Staff Writer

Ciro Albarran, a subcontractor worker, fell from scaffolding at the Oak Hall construction site and was injured Feb. 27 at approximately 11:50 a.m., according to reports.            

“The gentleman must be living life the way you’re supposed to,” said Keith Murray, general manager of Carolina Masonry Unlimited—Albarran’s employer from Fuquay Varina.

“He’s a very lucky man,” Murray said.

Ciro Albarran, a subcontractor worker, fell from the scaffolding between the third and fourth floor of Oak Hall.  He suffered four broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a fracture in his jawbone.

Photo by Lesley Covington
Ciro Albarran, a subcontractor worker, fell from the scaffolding between the third and fourth floor of Oak Hall.  He suffered four broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a fracture in his jawbone.

Albarran suffered four broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a small fracture in his jawbone, according to Murray.

He fell from scaffolding between the third and fourth floors of Oak Hall and couldn’t speak English well, according to Visiting Assistant Professor Martin Montoya, from the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department, who helped as translator.            

“Part of his fall, he landed on his head and shoulders,” Montoya said.

Carolina Masonry is a subcontractor working for Clancy & Thays’ Wilmington division, which is in charge of Oak Hall’s construction.            

“The owners of Carolina Masonry have been in constant touch with both Ciro and his family,” said Chip Overman, spokesperson for Clancy & Thays.

Overman said he was also at the site the day of the accident.             

He said Alberran fell between 30 and 35 feet.

The accident occurred at approximately 11:50 a.m.   Clancy & Thays’ safety consultant arrived at approximately 1:55 p.m., according to Overman.            

“It was just a freak accident,” Murray said.

“All reports are that there was no faulty equipment,” he said.            

Scaffolding was checked under standard practices, according to Murray.

Albarran was not wearing a harness, he said.            

“Harnesses are not actually appropriate,” Murray said.

As Murray explained in a telephone interview, harnesses can do more harm than good on a construction site like Oak Hall.            

“There are six to 12 people on scaffolding at a time,” he said. 

The workers intermingle and must be able to move freely.            

Harnesses would become tangled and lead to falls.  In a situation where only one person is working a harness would be more appropriate.

“There are numerous contributing factors that can cause a harness to be more harmful than helpful,” Murray said.             Alabrran was airlifted to UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill, according to Overman.

Emergency medical technicians waited until further information about Albarran could be gained before putting him on the ambulance, according to Montoya.            

“I just happened to be walking by that day,” Montoya said.

“I saw the EMS there right across from the police station. I understand that they were waiting to find out the worker’s name before taking him to the hospital,” according to Montoya.            

“It is a common problem,” Montoya said, explaining why many Latino workers at construction sites have limited or incorrect contact information on record.

Sometimes people provide inadequate contact information, live in “complex housing situations.” The situations include multiple families and non-related individuals live together or are undocumented workers, he said.

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Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2007
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