Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
We fight for the rights of injured construction workers
Scaffolding is a common sight in New York City. Every day, construction workers use it to climb hundreds of feet in the air to do their job. But carelessness and negligence can lead to unsafe conditions on scaffolding that can cause an accident, resulting in serious injury. The scaffolding accident lawyers at Giampa Law fight for the rights of injured constructions workers in the Bronx and beyond.
Scaffolding are designed to give workers a stable surface to stand on while working high above the ground. To protect workers, there are state and federal rules and regulations regarding scaffolding that companies must follow. These include New York Labor Law 240 (1) (also known as the "Scaffold Law") and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
But these rules and regulations aren't always followed, and workers get hurt. Scaffolding accidents can occur because of:
Steel scaffolding that is set up alongside a building has a lot of different parts. In order for the scaffolding to be safe for workers, all those parts must be put together properly. Each piece must be placed correctly, each scaffold connection must be locked. Each upright should have a firm, stable footing. When proper procedure for setting up scaffolding is not followed, it creates an instability in the structure that can result in collapse.
Lack of proper fall protection
When employees will be working on scaffolding above 10 feet, fall protection measures must be put in place, by federal law. One way to do this is to install guardrails on the scaffolding. Another is to set up a harness system that will prevent workers from hitting the ground should the scaffolding collapse. In some cases, both guardrails and harnesses must be used.
Inadequate protection from falling debris
Another danger of scaffolding is tools or debris falling from a great height onto a person down on the ground. Steps must be taken to prevent people from being injured in this manner. They include installing netting and canopies to deflect falling objects. They also require the installation of toeboards on scaffolding to help prevent objects from falling in the first place.
Damaged or defective parts
Scaffolding must be able to support a lot of weight. But when parts are damaged or defective, they can break and pose a serious safety risk. This can result in a partial or total collapse of the scaffolding, potentially leaving workers seriously injured.
Lack of inspections
Federal law requires that scaffolding be carefully inspected before each work shift and after any incident that could affect the integrity of the scaffolding. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any loose, missing or damaged parts that could affect the stability of the scaffolding and lead to a collapse.
Employers are required to give workers training on the proper construction and use of scaffolding. This includes training on the use of fall protection systems, proper handling of materials while on the scaffold, and identifying potential hazards.
Sometimes, companies cut corners to cut costs, or rush a job to make an unrealistic deadline. But when this happens, safety takes a back seat and workers are put at risk of injury or death. Our lawyers have experience in holding negligent companies responsible for worker injuries that occur in scaffolding accidents.
If you've been hurt in a scaffolding accident, contact our Bronx office today for a free consultation. We can also meet you in your home, hospital room or other convenient location. We'll explain your options and work to help you get your life back on track.