Construction workers put their lives at risk every time they use a scaffold. Working on scaffolds and other platforms can be extremely dangerous. Scaffolding accidents typically result from improper construction or negligent maintenance of the scaffolding. Falls from scaffolding are a major cause of injury and death for construction workers, and can be dangerous for the surrounding community as well. Since scaffolds are a part of almost every construction project in New York, it is imperative that they are in good condition to ensure a safe working environment. It is estimated that 10,000 of the 500,000 injuries that occur annually on construction work sites are scaffolding accidents.
A Major portion of construction accidents & injuries are due to construction workers falling from heights. The failure to provide safety harnesses, fall arrest systems, netting, scaffolds or other safety devices often result in injury or death. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries from a Construction Accident, you should consult with a New York Scaffold Accident Attorney as you may be entitled to a large money award.
Common Types of Scaffold Accidents
- Fall from Scaffolding
- Fall because scaffolding was not installed properly
- Fall because of collapsed scaffolding
- Fall because boards of scaffolding broke
- Fall because the scaffolding was improperly assembled
- Fall because the work platform was not properly secured
- Fall because the scaffolding was not braced properly
- Fall because a brace weld failed
- Fall because the scaffold collapsed
Scaffold Accident Law of New York
Construction workers in NYC have special legal protections when they are injured on a scaffold. Construction workers must be provided with equipment that avoids accidents when working under dangerous conditions. Every construction worker injured on the job is entitled to worker’s compensation, but scaffold workers may be able to file a lawsuit to recover much higher damage awards. This protection is an addition to the worker’s compensation.
The New York Labor Law Sections 240 and 241 are known as the “safe place to work” or the “scaffold” laws. These sections have been law in since the late 1800s, and they state that if a worker is injured in a New York construction accident as a result of falling from a height, or as the result of being hit with something that falls from a height, the owner and the contractor are responsible. This is true whether or not the worker was at fault or refused to use safety equipment. These laws exist to make certain that all workers have a safe place to work especially on construction sites, which are already dangerous because of what’s going on there.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have strict regulations concerning the proper assembly and usage of scaffolds, as well as the training of workers on scaffolds and the rescue of workers when needed. Often, the erector and/or laborer perceive certain components as unnecessary or too expensive to rent or buy, resulting in a scaffold that does not comply with OSHA standards.
Scaffold Accidents Due to Improper Installation
Steel scaffolds are more durable however they must be erected and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proper seating and locking of all scaffold connections is mandatory. Firm footing must be provided for each upright; a metal plate is most adequate and may be provided with scaffolding. It is necessary in addition to this plate scaffold should be supported by planking or other support in loose material. The minimum thickness of lumber recommended is two inches. Scaffold footings should be secured against movement by recessing, staking, or other means.
Scaffold Accidents Due To Lack Of Inspection
Most Scaffolding Accidents are a direct result of lack of inspection of the installed scaffold. Every scaffold should be inspected on daily basis; the duty to inspect the scaffold is usually allocated to the project manager or other responsible person designated by the project supervisor.
Once the scaffold is installed no changes should be made it without authorized approval. All such changes should be clearly communicated to the construction worker using the scaffold. The boards of scaffolds should be inspected daily for any oil spill, snow or any other material which may cause the surface to be slippery. The scaffold inspection should also include insuring the fact that no one has left any construction tools or any construction material on the scaffold.
If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries from a Construction Accident, you should consult with a New York Scaffold Accident Attorney as you may be entitled to a large money award.