Christopher Griffin, 49, a stagehand who has worked with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for 20 years, since the start of the event, was killed the morning of April 6 when he fell at least 60 feet from scaffolding connected to a stage near Monroe Street and Avenue 50. According to news reports, Goldenvoice, the production company that puts up the festival, said Griffin fell while working on a festival state.
As the lead, rigger, the company said, Griffin was responsible for a number of shows at the festival. TMZ reported that an eyewitness said the worker was climbing the stage scaffolding and fell about 60 feet and the worker did not have a safety harness tethered to a cable to stop him from falling. Coachella will be held on April 12 to 14 and again on April 19 to 21.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and co-workers of Christopher Griffin for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Construction Projects and Falls
Falls are among the most common causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, particularly when it comes to construction projects. Employers are required under the law to create safer environments to prevent workers from falling off overhead platforms, elevated workstations or into holes in the floor and walls.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of 4 feet in general industry, five feet in shipyards, 6 feet in the construction industry and 8 feet in long-shoring operations. In addition, OSHA requires that fall protection be provided when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance. Employers are required to provide fall protection devices such as harnesses, guardrails, floor hole covers, safety nets and toe-boards to prevent falls and protect workers.
Compensation for Workers and Families
Families of workers who have lost their lives on the job may be able to seek workers’ compensation death benefits. However, in California, workers’ compensation benefits are usually woefully inadequate to compensate families that have lost a loved one, particularly, a primary wage earner. In addition to workers’ compensation, families of victims may also be able to file a third-party claim for their losses against a party other than the employer.
Examples of third parties may include general contractors, sub-contractors, property owners, manufacturers of defective products, etc. An experienced California workplace injury lawyer will be able to help injured workers and their families determine the best course of action and assist them