Sign-hanger recovering from fall at Home Depot job site

LIHU‘E — A man who fell off a ladder while working at The Home Depot store in Lihu‘e on Wednesday is alert and in stable condition at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.

Sign Art contractor and Kaua‘i resident Mike Arbsland sustained spinal-chord injuries and a fracture in his back in the accident, according to a hospital report.

Home Depot Store Manager Leonard Peters said Arbsland “blacked out” while working on the ladder, and then fell off of it.

Peters said that the ladder was approximately 20-feet high, and that Arbsland, who is the lead installer and fabricator for Sign Art, was not wearing a safety harness.

After the accident, Arbsland was flown to Queen’s Medical Center for treatment. Peters said that Arbsland had no previous medical history of dizzy spells or a loss of consciousness at the workplace.

“We focus on safety here, and when something like this happens, it is always a difficult blow,” he said.

Last month, another accident occurred at the Lihu‘e Home Depot store. Southwest Fixture Company contractor Gerard Brocard suffered a fractured shoulder after a wall panel collapsed and then fell on him while he was working on it.

According to Peters, the panel weighed between 150 and 200 pounds.

Brocard, who is from the Mainland, was rushed to Wilcox Hospital before being sent to a Mainland medical facility for surgery.

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