Falls are the most common type of construction site accident, especially falls from scaffolds. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), there are more than 50 deaths and 4500 injuries from scaffolding falls each year.
Construction workers who fall several stories from scaffolding are often seriously injured, resulting in hospitalization or even death. Therefore, there are strict construction site guidelines and safety regulations to prevent such injuries. One of the main safety measures to prevent injury from falls at construction sites is “fall protection” equipment. Despite the various safety measures, construction workers continue to sustain serious injury in falls or other construction accidents.
Construction sites are often littered with tools, metal bars in a vertical position and other objects that can impale construction workers. Injuries from scaffolding falls include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and concussions. Workers may sustain serious injury or death when beams from the scaffolding detaches and falls, striking a construction worker several stories below.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of a scaffolding accident, it is critical to contact the best construction accident lawyer. It is possible the scaffolding was improperly constructed, or poor or even no safety training was provided.
OSHA defines scaffolding as “any temporary elevated platform (supported or suspended) and its supporting structure (including points of anchorage), used for supporting employees or materials or both.” The Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”) Section 29 1926.451 provides specific rules and regulations for scaffolding, including scaffold capacity, spacing allowed between planks, guard rails and prohibited items, such as barrels and ladders that workers may step on to reach a higher area.
Scaffolds must be capable of supporting, without failure, at least 4 times their maximum intended load, or 4 times the “total load of all persons, equipment, tools, materials, transmitted loads, and other loads reasonably anticipated to be applied to a scaffold or scaffold component at any one time.” A recent Department of Labor Study attributes 72 percent of scaffolding injuries to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
Injuries as a result of scaffolding falls may be the result of negligence, and more than one party may be held liable, depending on the type of management of the construction project. Entities that maybe held liable in a construction accident lawsuit include:
• Property Owners
• Contractors (including general contractors, prime contractors, and sub-contractors)
• Construction Managers
• Equipment Manufactures
• Equipment Suppliers
Only a top scaffolding attorney will know the right way to investigate your case, and identify all responsible parties to ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries. Although the injured construction worker may have a Workers Compensation action against his or her employer, there may also be a “third-party” civil action against other entities — and a top construction site injury lawyer will pursue all available avenues to ensure the client (and his or her family) receives the maximum compensation available under the law.