Scaffolding accidents are an unfortunate reality when it comes to working on a construction site. To learn about your legal rights if you or someone you love was seriously or fatally injured, contact a personal injury attorney in Long Island.
An attorney can help in determining liability, which is sometimes a challenge with the variety of businesses and individuals that work on a construction site. In third-party claims, such as those when the fall was caused by faulty equipment, it must be determined what company was at fault.
Construction Site Accidents Related to Scaffolding and Ladders
According to findings at Construction Safety Week 2011, when it comes to work-related falls, scaffolding accidents accounted for 22 percent of all construction site accidents. Because of the dangers of working from heights, laws in New York were put in place to better protect construction workers.
For instance, when scaffolds are 40 feet or higher, permits are required. And anyone who uses or erects a scaffold must receive proper training.
But falls don’t occur only from this type of equipment. Ladder accidents are also common at construction sites. Depending on the circumstances, a claim could be filed if a worker is injured.
To better protect workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented standards when it comes to the use of scaffolds and ladders. Requirements are enforced when it comes to supported or suspended scaffolds, along with portable wood ladders and manually propelled mobile ladder stands.
Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
When construction accidents happen, the question becomes who is responsible. Although some of the job duties can be dangerous, when the workplace is not safe, it increases the risk of injuries.
Sometimes accidents are the result of poor site conditions, equipment defects or incorrect installation of the equipment. There are some common causes for a worker to be injured on a scaffold.
The following are some of the potential causes of a scaffolding accident:
- missing/loose braces;
- defective outrigger beams;
- lack of harness;
- missing guardrails;
- inappropriate counterweight;
- improper C-Hook tieback;
- defective wire rope/splice;
- improper foundation;
- defective support/parapet; and
- no lifeline padding.
Injuries Associated with Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents
The higher the fall, the more severe injuries are likely to be. At the very least, a construction worker might sustain a few cuts and bruises.
More often, those who fall from heights suffer head injuries. Even wearing a hardhat, impact made to the ground or another object could result in a skull fracture, concussion or brain trauma.
Fractures, sprains and dislocations are common injuries that can happen in ladder or scaffolding accidents. When there are multiple broken bones, the recovery time can be especially long and painful.
Back injuries are also common in scaffolding accidents. A broken back, herniated disk and even paralysis could be suffered.
As a result, you could be entitled to compensation that addresses the medical costs associated with your injuries. And you could be compensated for your lost wages, including earning potential if you are permanently disabled.
Other damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish may be recoverable as well. You will need to talk with an attorney to learn if a claim should be filed under Workers’ Compensation or if there are other options, such as a third-party claim against a manufacturer for defective equipment or an independent contractor.
Seeking Help from a Personal Injury Attorney in Long Island
Understanding your rights is critical if you have been injured on a construction site. You may want to speak with a personal injury attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates to learn more.
Our law firm understands the devastation experienced when a worker is injured on a construction site. We handle claims involving ladder and scaffolding accidents.