Can Workers File Injury Claims for Scaffolding Accidents?
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers Explain the Dangers of a Collapse
Construction workers routinely perform their jobs while standing on scaffolding. These temporary structures are typically built of metal poles, couplers and wooden boards, although other materials are not uncommon. While scaffolding is necessary for most construction projects, negligence in the construction, grounding or use of these structures can cause serious construction site accidents. When a worker falls from a scaffold or a scaffold collapses, severe and life-threatening injuries may result. If you or a loved one has suffered scaffolding injuries, then it is important to protect your right to compensation.
At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., we have extensive experience helping people injured in scaffolding accidents. Our construction accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you pursue maximum compensation for the losses you have suffered.
What are the Potential Dangers of Scaffolding?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), scaffolding accidents cause over 4,500 injuries and more than 60 deaths each year. Many of these accidents occur due to faulty walkways, incorrect construction and instability of the adjacent structures. To prevent dangerous conditions, OSHA maintains extensive safety standards and regulations concerning scaffolds. Still, all too often the building owner, contractor or construction company that is responsible for the safety of the scaffold does not follow OSHA regulations, which puts workers at risk for:
- Scaffold collapse injuries. If a scaffold collapses due to unstable construction or defects, then the result may be widespread catastrophic injuries. Any workers on or below the scaffold may suffer traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury, or wrongful death.
- Falls from heights. Contractors and construction companies must provide workers with fall protection and other safety equipment to prevent these accidents. Additionally, substandard scaffold materials and/or weak anchor points may also cause falls.
- Electrocution. Employers must take precautions when erecting and moving scaffolds near power lines. Otherwise, serious electrocution accidents may result.
- Wrongful death. Serious scaffolding accidents may cause wrongful death, especially on large construction sites with many levels of scaffolds.
Since many different contractors and companies may use the same scaffold, victims of scaffolding accidents and their families may be able to collect compensation from multiple parties. Usually, you can file a workers comp claim. However, you may also be able to bring third party claims against any liable parties.
Who is at Risk for Scaffolding Accidents?
According to OSHA, 65 percent of all workers in the construction industry regularly use scaffolds. However, those in many other professions may also be at risk for scaffolding accidents, including:
- Carpenters. Framing carpenters may be at risk from dangerous scaffolds in construction site accidents. However, even carpentry work in residential areas may require a scaffold.
- Ironworkers. A faulty scaffold may be particularly dangerous for ironworkers, who use heat-based equipment and work at extreme heights. A crane or welder accident may cause a serious scaffolding collapse which can endanger any workers below.
- Electricians. In the early stages of construction, electricians may use scaffolding built by another contractor or company. Depending on the circumstances, serious injuries or electrocution may result.
- Painters. Scaffolding allows painters to reach high areas on the outside of buildings; any defects or unsteady boards can cause a potentially fatal fall.
- Roofers. Unsteady scaffolding may cause roofing accidents or compound injuries due to falls from heights.
- Window washers. Unsafe scaffolding and lack of fall prevention technology can have disastrous consequences for window washers, particularly on tall buildings.
Questions About Scaffolding Accidents? Call Our Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, then our law firm is here to help. We will carefully investigate every aspect of your case to determine how your accident took place and to identify responsible parties. In handling a scaffold collapse case, our construction accident lawyers consider many questions:
- Were scaffold components like base plates, toe boards and platform decking secured and tested?
- Did all parties employ safety precautions, such as safety netting and harnesses?
- Were warning signs reported and followed up on?
We are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you need to pay your bills and provide for your family. Call our offices in Philadelphia, PA or Cherry Hill, NJ, at (866) 569-3400 or contact us online today to schedule a free initial consultation. We also handle cases on a contingency fee basis — we charge no fees unless we get results for you.