Construction workers are often put in risky situations that could lead to injury or death. When construction is being performed on a nearby building, pedestrians are also in harm’s way. Still, as plans for the creation of many high rise buildings are put into effect, construction must be completed for our economy to prosper. Most construction is done high above the ground, where construction workers rely on ladders and scaffolds to complete the necessary tasks. Almost 65% of all construction workers, or 2.3 million people, perform tasks on scaffolds. Window washers and painters are also at risk, as they use scaffolds to perform required tasks at great heights. Scaffolds range from simple platforms to complex geometric structures and can be one of three different types: supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds or aerial lifts. However, when scaffolding is not secure, construction workers fall from a dangerous height and suffer from substantial injuries.
Of the estimated 500,000 construction accidents that occur annually, one out of every five of these accidents involve scaffolding. There are standards implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) but these standards are not always followed by construction companies. These standards require and regulate the use of:
- Base plates and mud sills
- Scaffold ties
- Side brackets
- Guard railing
- Work platform decking
- Fastening pins
Omitting any of these parts because they seem unnecessary or expensive is a violation of OSHA standards, which can cause accidents and lead to substantial injury. Most scaffoldings accidents could have been completely avoided with proper care in assuring that all of the OSHA standards are followed. The most common causes of scaffolding accidents are;
- Defective equipment
- Improper construction
- Lack of safety features
- Negligence in failing to provide proper supervision and/or maintenance
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Many construction workers mistakenly believe that they will not be able to file a legal claim against a negligent party because they are already receiving workers’ compensation. However, workers’ compensation only prevents you from filing a claim against your employer and the cause of your accident may have been caused by another negligent party. This third party, such as a contractor, manufacturer or delivery driver, can be held liable for your injuries. Often, the benefits of workers’ compensation are not enough to relieve the financial burden your injury has caused you or your loved one. Some workers may think that since they were partially to blame for the accident, they will not be able to recover any damages. If the accident was caused (even if partially) because of a violation of OSHA standards, then absolute liability exists and you will be able to recover.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a scaffolding accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP to assist you in pursuing your case. You can reach The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP at 1-800-624-8888 or submit an InjuryLawyer.com free online case evaluation. The initial consultation is FREE of charge. We work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, if we agree to handle your case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you money.
Some lawsuits need be filed before an impending expiration date, known as the Statute of Limitations. Therefore, call or contact us right away to ensure that you do not waive your rights to money damages or other benefits.