Injured by a Lift at a Construction Site or Other Workplace?
Philadelphia Attorneys Explain the Dangers of Scissor Lift Accidents
Scissor lifts are mobile scaffolds that allow construction, film, warehouse and retail workers to perform a wide range of tasks. However, scissor lifts can be incredibly dangerous in the hands of negligent employers. If businesses allow untrained workers to operate scissor lifts, neglect maintenance or ignore the manufacturer’s instructions, then the lift may tip over. This can severely injure those in the lift as well as anyone working nearby. If a scissor lift accident injured you or a loved one, then you may be able to collect compensation from your employer as well as any liable third parties.
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., have extensive experience helping construction workers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide obtain compensation after suffering injuries on the job, including in scissor lift accidents. We fully investigate these types of cases to determine all liable parties, maximizing your compensation. Our construction accident attorneys have secured multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts for injured workers and their families.
How Do Scissor Lifts Cause Workplace Accidents?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) common causes of scissor lift accidents include:
- Improper positioning. Workers operating scissor lifts may be injured or killed if they are positioned too close to powerlines or fixed objects. Electricity can arc and strike workers even if they are not touching powerlines. Crush injuries or falls from heights may occur if workers are lifted into fixed objects, such as support beams.
- Lack of fall protection. Since falls from heights are one of the most common types of scissor lift accidents, employers should provide workers with adequate fall protection gear. Lack of such equipment or defects in gear or guardrails increase the risk of fall injuries.
- Poor weather. Scissor lifts can tip over during poor weather conditions, especially in high winds. Wet or icy weather conditions are also a safety hazard. Employers and lift owners must therefore always check weather conditions before using a scissor lift outdoors.
- Uneven surfaces. Slopes, bumps and loose surfaces can make scissor lifts unsteady and prone to tipping.
- Collapsing. In some cases, scissor lifts of substandard quality may collapse without warning. Structural defects or exceeding the platform’s weight limit can also contribute to this type of accident.
- Lack of training. Untrained workers are much more likely to make mistakes. For example, undertrained staff may stand on the guardrails or fail to use the manufacturer’s instructions for safe movement.
- Falling objects. Workers on the ground may suffer injuries caused by objects falling from scissor lifts or from a collapsing lift itself.
Are There Safety Recommendations for Using Scissor Lifts?
OSHA has several recommendations that may help employers with fall protection, stabilization and positioning safety issues. To protect workers from workplace accidents, OSHA recommends the following:
- Workers should receive training before using scissor lifts. Training can help workers understand common mistakes, such as leaning or sitting on the guard rails. In addition, trained workers should know how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid falls.
- Employers should perform regular maintenance on equipment using the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes inspecting the controls, guardrail systems and brakes before using the lifts.
- Good weather conditions should be a prerequisite for using scissor lifts. Windy and wet weather can pose a risk to workers. Depending on the type of scissor lift used, even low windspeeds may cause tip over accidents, especially if the lift is fully extended.
- The weight on the work platform should never exceed the manufacturer’s load rating. Exceeding the rating may cause the lift to collapse.
- Employers must require workers to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe movement. To keep workers safe, scissor lifts should operate on firm and level surfaces away from other objects. Workers should avoid moving scissor lifts in the elevated position.
- Scissor lifts should never be positioned too close to powerlines or fixed objects. OSHA recommends selecting work locations that are at least 10 feet away from power sources or other fixed objects. Workers should have electrical training if they are performing tasks near power sources.
- Traffic control methods can keep other vehicles from hitting and tipping over scissor lifts. Workers on the ground can help conduct traffic control measures.
Hurt by a Scissor Lift? Call An Industrial Accident Lawyer Today
Workers injured in scissor lift accidents and construction site accidents may be able to receive workers compensation. These benefits can help pay medical bills, lost income and funeral expenses. However, workers comp benefits cannot provide compensation for pain and suffering.
Construction worksites may consist of several companies working together on projects. In some cases, these other businesses may cause construction site accidents. Workers injured by other businesses may be able to file third party claims, which provide pain and suffering damages. A third party claim allows for much greater compensation than what is provided under workers comp.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a scissor lift accident, an industrial accident lawyer at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can help you discover which options for compensation may be available. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay us unless we get results for you.