According to the United States Department of Labor,
“…an estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year, at a savings for American employers of $90 million in workdays lost. In a recent study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.”
Since so many construction workers will be on a scaffold at their job at one point or another, the risk of accident or injury is very high as well.
Often, workers will be using heavy equipment or will be carrying materials when they are on scaffolding. This raises the risk of injury.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, does have standards and laws designed to govern worker safety when using scaffolding. However, these standards are not always met; employers may not fully understand the standards so that they can be implemented correctly.
In many cases, the scaffolding may not be assembled properly, may be defective, or may be damaged. As a result, any worker who is on the scaffold could be at risk of injury or death. Scaffolds are supposed to be:
- Assembled according to instructions from the manufacturer
- Installed with guardrails along open sides and at the ends of each platform
Additionally, all workers are supposed to wear a personal fall arrest system when they are on the platforms. This helps to stop the worker from falling if they slip on the scaffolding. The system consists of a body harness that is properly attached to a lifeline. OSHA has standards about this as well. Even if one standard is not met, the personal safety system could fail.
Injuries from a scaffolding accident can vary from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries, such as spinal cord damage or even death. You could miss work and lose out on wages, become permanently disabled or disfigured, and build up thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
There are laws designed to protect you should you be injured in a scaffolding accident while on the job. The problem is, though, that these laws can be very confusing and difficult to navigate. You cannot handle the case alone, or you will not receive the compensation you deserve.
You will have to determine if your scaffolding accident was due to negligence in construction, maintenance, or setup of the scaffold itself. You will also have to prove this in court. Without this information, it will be very hard to get any compensation for your injuries and expenses.
That’s why you need proper legal representation. You may be entitled to compensation or even punitive damages, but you certainly will not know who should be held responsible for the accident and injuries. This can vary depending on the incident and the factors surrounding the case. Only an experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate the law and help you fight for your rights.
You will need to contact an attorney who knows how to work for you. If you choose just any lawyer, you may not be happy with the results. Don’t choose just anyone. Instead, you need to make a phone call to the attorneys at Thompson | Wedeking. Our experienced team will go to work for you. When you call us, you are entitled to a free case evaluation so you can determine what your next steps should be.