WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF A SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENT?
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the U.S., and thousands of workers suffer fatal injuries while on the job every year. Many of these fatalities are due to poorly built or maintained scaffolding. This support structure is necessary for employees working in a number of occupations, and it can extend hundreds of feet off the ground. Scaffolding can be quite precarious, with narrow platform widths and tools strewn about.
Sadly, most injuries involving scaffolding are preventable as long as the site is following Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Many sites, though, do not observe OSHA recommendations with construction support structures. There may be no provision of fall protection, even though there is a requirement, or tools may not be secured to the platform. Falling objects are the primary cause of injury around these structures.
Many injuries result from a failing platform, especially when the structure is not regularly inspected by an expert. A platform can fail because it is made from substandard wood, because it is not installed correctly, or because work around the platform has caused damage to the platform.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN A SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENT CAUSE?
Most injuries arising from these incidents are the result of a fall, so injuries are often severe. Even a small fall can result in broken bones or head trauma. A fall from height can cause major internal injuries, hemorrhaging, or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can range from a simple concussion to permanent paralysis, so they are capable of removing a person’s ability to work, even after recovery.
Debris or tools that have fallen from the structure may strike workers below. This can result in instantly fatal TBIs, and even people wearing hard hats may suffer a severe concussion or neck injury.
WHO IS LIABLE WHEN A SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENT OCCURS?
It is the employer’s and site manager’s responsibility to maintain safe standards on site, though this responsibility is typically delegated to many experts and secondary parties working in or around the site. Engineers, supervisors, inspectors, and others must do their job correctly, or workers will be put in unnecessary danger. If a worker is hurt on the job and the site is found to be unsafe, the party responsible for managing the site, along with any individuals who contributed to the incident, may share liability for the workers’ injuries.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP A WORKER WHO HAS BEEN HURT IN A SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENT?
When a worker is injured on the job, they are generally entitled to workers’ compensation through their employer’s insurance, if the company has not opted-out of this coverage. If long-term disability is present, an experienced lawyer can help a victim in the attempt to get as much compensation as possible for their lost wages and ongoing medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer can also help the victim file suit against third parties or others responsible for the incident, like a truck driver or equipment manufacturer.