Family of injured worker raising awareness of workplace dangers

Published: Apr. 5, 2019 at 8:35 AM CDT
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The family of one of the men shocked in a construction accident last month is fighting to spread awareness of unsafe working conditions.

Alex Cooper was up in a boom lift when it came in contact with a power line and he fell. The power line, we are told, should have been turned off.

Freddie Maldonado, 33, was also injured in the incident. He suffered minor burns on his hands

Matt Scott, with the Carpenters Union, said, “On an $11 million project, for less than a thousand dollars, they couldn't just reroute some power for a couple hours while those guys got up there and do what they needed to do when they come back down?”

Cooper's family describes Alex as a good Christian man. Witnesses say he fell four stories after coming into contact with the power line. The family tells us he worked for Ronco Construction.

Scott said, “If you’re a worker and they are telling you to put yourself in a dangerous situation you can say no and stand up for yourself. Workers have rights. This shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever again.”

Cooper has been at St. Elizabeth's Burn Center in Lincoln since March 11th.

His sister, Valeska Cooper, said, “He has skull fractures, severe burns and some more injuries but we’ll know more after time.”

A candlelight vigil is planned for Friday night.

Family and friends hope the vigil will bring to light the dangers of the job. They say they don't want this to happen to anyone else.

Valeska said, “It's a really tough, tough situation for the family, not because traveling back and forth from Omaha just to see their brother in that condition.”

Scott said, “They happen way more than they should. A lot of times you don't have a family that’s willing to stand up and say it like we do here. So, a lot of times you don't just hear about it but it does happen often.”

The vigil for both men is scheduled for 8 P.M., April 5, at Plaza de la Raza.