According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately 2.3 million construction workers–or 65 percent of all workers in the construction industry–who work on scaffolds. While scaffolds are essential for performing tasks at heights, scaffolds can also be very dangerous for workers. In fact, the same OSHA source further reports that there are about 4,500 scaffold-related injuries, and 60 construction worker deaths from scaffold accidents, reported each year.
Causes of Scaffold Accidents
Scaffold accident occur for a number of reasons, but these reasons all have one thing in common: they are almost always preventable. Some top causes of scaffold accident include:
- Scaffolds failing to be properly equipped (i.e. missing toeboards);
- Scaffolds failing to have guardrails;
- Workers are not trained in how to properly use scaffolds;
- Work on scaffolds is not properly managed and overseen;
- Poor scaffold design;
- Scaffold planking or support failing; or
- Falling object.
The latter two causes of scaffold accidents are so common that 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents contribute the accident to these causes. Another potential cause of a scaffold accident is intensive weather, such as severe weather, including rain or wind.
Injuries Caused in Scaffold Accidents
Most injuries that happen in scaffolding accident happen when a worker falls, and hits or lands on an object or on the ground. When this happens, injuries suffered by the worker may include spinal cord injuries, head and traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, broken or crushed bones, amputated limbs, and internal injuries. Sometimes, injuries may be caused by falling objects, which could also cause the injury types above. In either instance, the injuries can be life-threatening but will most certainly be life-altering. The injuries and/or medical conditions could result in years of physical rehabilitation or, possibly, the inablity to return to work again.
Seeking Compensation after a Scaffold Accident
As OSHA explains, nearly all scaffold construction worker accidents and injuries could be prevented with adherence to OSHA safety standards. When these standards are breached and a worker is harmed, someone needs to be held liable. At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we can help you to understand your recovery options, including both the filing of a workers’ compensation claim or/and a third party liability suit. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You need skilled and aggressive attorneys fighting on your behalf. We do not collect any fees unless we win your case.