Workers injured as scaffold breaks

Safety harnesses saved three construction workers Thursday morning after one end of a suspended scaffold broke from its rigging on the 21st floor of a Financial District apartment building.

The accident happened just before 11:00 a.m. at Golden Gateway Apartments near the intersection of Jackson and Davis streets.

According to fire Battalion Chief Mike Morris, one of the workers climbed to a landing on his own and then helped a second worker to safety. A third worker, however, was left dangling from the scaffold.

Curtis Libor, 42, was inside his 18th floor apartment when he heard the deafening crash.

“I ran to my window and saw a lady hanging there,” he said. “I looked right at her and said ‘We’ll call 911.’”

Libor said he tried to calm the worker, who was becoming distressed.

“I said, ‘You’re the one who used to work on my balcony. Do you remember me? I offered you a lemonade,’” Libor said.

The two men sustained minor injuries, one a scraped thigh and the other a shoulder injury, and were taken to San Francisco General Hospital. The third worker was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Morris said.

The state worker-safety agency said it will initiate an investigation.

Cal-Osha spokeswoman Kate McGuire said the construction company, Alpha Restoration and Waterproofing, had two serious violations in 2002 related to stepladders, but nothing related to scaffolding.

“We’re looking into what caused the accident and if there were any violations we can cite the company,” McGuire said.

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