There have been many advances in construction equipment over the years to make the job easier for workers and to keep them safe. At the same time, whenever workers (not only in construction) take to a scaffold and are raised a significant amount off of the ground, there is always the chance of an accident and serious injury. The number of scaffolding accidents across the country over the past month have sent a sobering reminder about the dangers of working on scaffolding.
In the past week alone there have been three accidents where scaffolding was involved, one which resulted in the death of a construction worker in Kansas. The 58-year-old man was climbing scaffolding to work on the outside of an apartment building when he fell three to four stories to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. At a construction site for a Connecticut hospital, a worker was on a rolling scaffold when it fell three stories from either the roof or an opening in building. The 47-year-old man was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. In Florida, a painter working on the side of an apartment building remarkably avoided injury when the scaffolding he was on collapsed, bringing down power lines along with it. Witnesses were able to pull the man away from the live power lines before the cables began exploding on the ground.
Additional scaffolding accidents over the past month include:
- Three people setting bricks on the side of a new building in Milwaukee were injured when the scaffolding fell with them on it.
- In East Harlem, two workers were rescued through a 12th story window after a likely motor failure caused the scaffolding to collapse, leaving it dangling. The same site received complaints to the NYC Building’s Department for not meeting safety code standards in regards to the scaffolding.
- A 46-year-old subcontractor doing masonry work on an apartment building near Seattle was killed when he fell off the scaffolding he was using.
- The FDNY rescued two window washers off of a building near Wall Street after their scaffolding malfunctioned near the 16th floor, causing it to tilt to one side.
In many of these cases, and similar ones, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) inspects the accident site for safety precautions and to determine if the accident was preventable. For 2015, the most frequently cited violation according to OSHA was for fall protection. Scaffolding followed at #3. With such prevalent violations on the part of employers we get a clearer picture of why so many scaffolding accidents are still happening. If you or a family member has been injured in a scaffolding accident, you need an attorney who can determine whose negligence caused the accident to occur. Contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to get the compensation you deserve from these careless individuals.