This week seven workers were severely injured when the scaffolding they were working upon fell. I have been litigating workers’ compensation cases for over 15 years, and I can’t remember a year when I didn’t have several cases involving people injured while working on scaffolding.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 65% of construction workers use scaffolds frequently, so it is not surprising that some of the most common accidents at construction sites involve scaffolds. These accidents are typically the most serious in terms of injury severity, and can result from construction workers’ falls from defective, improperly installed, or unreasonably safe scaffold equipment.
Because of the limitations on compensation for workers’ compensation claims, it is imperative to discover the cause of these accidents. Often there are third parties that may be responsible for the employee’s injuries. If a worker has permanent injuries it is important that he/she receives sufficient compensation to care for him/herself and his/her family. As such, every avenue must be explored. Of course, the best answer is for the employer to take sufficient safety precautions before the accident ever happens. Employers should ensure that the scaffolding is assembled properly, and that protective measures are in place to prevent objects from falling onto workers from scaffolds, lifts, and ladders.