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2 die in Naples construction accident

Since Hurricane Irma came reeling ashore in South Florida last year, there has been a construction boom going on in the area to repair and rebuild damaged structures.

An unfortunate corollary of increased construction projects is the enhanced risk of construction accidents. As such, two construction workers died recently in Naples on Florida's Gulf Coast while working on an outside lift tethered to a high-rise condo tower.

The two men, whose identities have not yet been released to media outlets, were standing on a lift working on a building at an exclusive resort, Club Brittany of Park Shore. For reasons as yet undetermined, the lift collapsed, plummeting the two construction workers 70 feet to the ground below.

The Naples Fire Department rescue personnel arrived on the scene, but could not revive the workers. Both men died at the accident site.

A local contractor who lives in the area where the fatal construction accident occurred spoke to a local media outlet. He stated that the temporary lift that broke free was typically used when renovating buildings and is attached to one side of the structure.

"This would be used after the building is completed, probably windows, railings, repairs and stucco," he said, adding that these type of accidents were "extremely rare."

He also noted that along Gulfshore Boulevard, condo construction has increased markedly and will likely continue until the latter part of October.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are on the scene gathering evidence to determine the cause of the construction fatalities.

At this early point, it is fruitless to hazard a guess as to what factors may have contributed to this accident. However, in many instances, contractors are under increased pressure by property owners to complete construction and renovations in time for Florida's busiest season — summer.

Contractors who are under the gun to bring projects to completion by a preset date may in turn put pressure on their work crews to meet impossible deadlines. They may even turn a blind eye when workers cut corners on safety protocols as long as the job gets done.

It's certainly not known if this was a factor in the two men's deaths this week in Naples, and it would be premature to speculate. In any event, workers should never feel that they have to yield to pressure to complete a job when that may entail taking chances with their lives.

If you were injured in a construction accident or lost a beloved family member in a tragic work site death, you may decide to explore all of the legal options available to pursue financial compensation.

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