Scaffolding accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries that could result in long-term or lifelong disabilities. They could also result in tragic fatalities that could have potentially been avoided. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 2.3 million construction workers – about 65% of the construction industry – work on scaffolds. Painters, ironworkers, carpenters, steelworkers, bricklayers and electricians are just some examples of construction workers who work on scaffolding.
Scaffolding Accidents are Due to Negligent Companies
Protecting these workers from scaffolding accidents could prevent many of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 fatalities each year. In a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies, 72% of workers injured in scaffolding accidents said it occurred because of the planking or support giving way or because of the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. A number of these accidents are caused by negligence on the part of a contractor, a construction company or other parties.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a scaffolding accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Our experienced scaffolding accident and injury lawyers in Los Angeles can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
What Causes Scaffolding Accidents and Injuries?
Here are some of the most common causes of scaffolding accidents and injuries in Los Angeles construction sites:
Defects in scaffolding: A number of scaffolding accidents and injuries occur because there are defects in the scaffolding due to improper design or inadequate manufacturing processes where the scaffolding is made with cheap or substandard parts and products. When a scaffolding defect causes an accident and injuries, the parties that designed, manufactured and/or sold the scaffolding can be held liable for the damages.
Poor construction: Scaffolding or staging that is used in construction work must be built properly in order to be safe for use. Improper construction of the scaffolding may include a failure to firmly affix all attachment points, failure to install bracing or to install guardrails that are necessary for fall protection. When poor scaffolding construction causes accidents or injuries, the company that was responsible for constructing the scaffolding can also be held liable.
Lack of proper maintenance: Scaffolding at worksites must also be properly inspected and maintained so their structural integrity is preserved with continued use. When a scaffolding is old or worn out, it will need to be replaced. Inadequate maintenance could also lead to slippery surfaces and other hazards that could result in serious or even fatal injuries for workers.
Weak planking: Planking that is not sturdy enough could collapse and cause serious injuries to workers. Plank defects that might cause a scaffolding collapse may include wormholes, splits, knots that are knocked out along edges and nail holes. Planks that are defective must be discarded and replaced right away.
Training and safety equipment: Workers require specific training when it comes to constructing or working on scaffolding. They should be trained on safety standards. Inadequate training with regard to fall protection is one of the most common construction site safety violations, according to OSHA. Workers should also be provided safety equipment, particularly fall safety devices such as harnesses, guardrails and safety nets when they are working on scaffolding.
Falling objects: Construction companies and contractors should also take the necessary steps to protect workers against injuries from objects that fall from above. In some cases, scaffolding should be covered to ensure that workers are not injured by falling tools, debris or other construction materials.
Dangerous working conditions: The negligence of contractors, construction companies, property owners or other parties involved could create dangerous conditions for workers in construction sites. Inclement weather such as rain or snow could also cause planking to become slippery. High winds could also sometimes cause scaffolding to collapse.
Violation of safety standards: OSHA has set forth several safety standards to ensure the safety of workers on scaffolds. When scaffolds are overloaded, a collapse could occur. In some cases, where workers on scaffolds come in contact with loose wires, there is the danger of electrocution as well.
Common Scaffolding Injuries
Scaffolding injuries can range from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage to internal organ damage, multiple broken bones and even death. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident on a construction site, it is important that you learn about your legal rights and options. It is also crucial that you speak with an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer who will fight hard to help you secure the compensation you need for your medical treatment and lost wages.
Scaffolding accidents also result in injuries that could leave workers permanently disabled and unable to work again. In such cases, workers may also be entitled to receive compensation for loss of future income and loss of the ability to earn a livelihood. In addition, workers can seek compensation for cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, ongoing treatment and care, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
How Greenberg & Ruby, LLP Can Help You With Your Injuries
If you have been injured on the job, or if you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, the experienced Los Angeles workplace injury attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby can help you mount a fight for justice and fair compensation on your behalf. They will help you accurately evaluate your claim, collect the evidence that is needed to prove fault, deal with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that you receive proper medical treatment and care.
They will also help you gather and organize medical reports, invoices and other documents that can bolster your case. Their attorneys are skillful negotiators who can negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties. If a resolution is not reached, we also have the experience and resources to take your case to a trial, if necessary.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job due to another party's negligence and is considering taking legal action, call our knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles scaffolding accident attorneys at Greenberg & Ruby, LLP to explore your rights and options. Call us at (323) 782-0535 to schedule a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.