Scaffolding Injury Cases : Accident Lawyers : Injured in a scaffolding accident?
Scaffolding is employed in almost every type of construction. Scaffolding is usually a temporary platform constructed by using timber or steel. Often times, the scaffolding is created using a hodge-dodge of materials and scrap left over from prior projects. Additionally, scaffolding built at a construction site often involve very little planning and design to insure the safety of the employees assigned to use them.
The three most common types of scaffolding found on construction sites are supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds and aerial lifts. Supported scaffolds are platforms supported by load bearing poles, legs and frames. Suspended scaffolds are usually supported by ropes attached to an overhead structure. Finally, aerial lifts include vehicles equipped with baskets or work platforms that can be elevated to allow employees to work from a height.
Common Injuries in Scaffolding Accidents
OSHA estimates that 4,500 scaffolding accidents that occur each year are preventable with proper training and construction of scaffolding. The most commons hazards that employees working with scaffolds may encounter include: Falls from height, scaffold collapse, being struck by falling objects and electrocution. Falls from height are generally preventable with the use of guardrails and having an employee use a fall arrest system. Scaffolding collapses are preventable by ensuring the that scaffold is properly constructed, ensuring that the scaffold is not overloaded, and having a trained person inspect the scaffold before use. Employers can protect employees from falling objects by restricting access to the area beneath a scaffold, or employing a canopy to protect the employees walking beneath the scaffold. Electrocution can be avoided by ensuring that all scaffolds are constructed a safe distance from utility lines, an employer should also request that local utility companies de-energize lines if scaffold work needs to be performed by utility lines.
The primary purpose of scaffolding, to allow employees to work at a height above shoulder level, also explains why the injuries sustained from scaffold accidents are so severe. Injuries involving scaffolding regularly result in broken bones or traumatic brain injury.
OSHA Rules and Regulations
In one year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 88 fatalities involving scaffolding. Recognizing the danger involved in scaffolding accidents, OSHA has promulgated strict guidelines for the design and construction of scaffolds.
OSHA has promulgated a number of regulations and codes concerning the construction and use of scaffolds. OSHA regulations require that the components used to build a scaffold must be able to support four times the maximum intended load. OSHA regulations also prohibit the use of a damaged scaffold until all repairs have been completed. Furthermore, it is a violation of federal law for employees to work on scaffolds during storms or high winds, or when scaffolds are covered with snow or ice.
Our firm has helped a number of employees that were injured while working with scaffolds. If you have been injured in a construction accident involving a scaffold, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Please call our Law Office and one of our construction accident lawyers will provide a free consultation concerning your case.
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