Scaffolds are temporary structures used to allow construction workers and utility personnel maneuver a structure that is either being build or repaired. Scaffolds allow the workers to work on a structure progressively as it is being built, even at extreme heights. However, because they are constructed with the intention of being temporary, accidents do occur due to instability can cause catastrophic injuries in the process.
The majority of victims injured in scaffolding accidents are the workers on the construction site. While scaffold accidents that have sent objects falling to the ground where they injure innocent pedestrians, most accidents originate on the scaffold. Slip and falls on the platform and scaffold collapses make up almost 72% of all scaffolding accidents every year. Injuries from scaffolding accident often involve broken bones, spinal cord injury and, if the accident involved falling, traumatic brain injury.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that scaffolds are involved in 40% of all construction accidents. The costs of scaffolding accidents are difficult on employers, who surrender $90 million every year in workdays lost, but are even more significant for the injured worker and their family who face a long road of recovery and struggle.
As mentioned before, scaffolds are constructed primarily for the purpose of reaching work areas that would be otherwise inaccessible with a ladder. Because of this, scaffolds are manufactured with the intention of temporary use. While this does not excuse shoddy workmanship, it is quite possible that during the manufacturing process, the quality of scaffold products is compromised for the sake of efficiency. This need for fast work can also affect the quality of assembly. Scaffolds that are either improperly manufactured or incorrectly assembled can be very dangerous to the workers who rely on them on daily basis.
Other causes of scaffolding accidents involve support beams that collapse or break, slippery surfaces, inadequate training and generally negligent work ethics. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration stipulates that more caution and awareness in the construction and use of scaffolds can very well prevent a significant portion of the 4,500 scaffolding injuries that occur every year.
Accidents that leave innocent individuals struggling with the cost and pain of injuries always pose the questions of responsibility. While the premise of the term accident implies the lack of control over the incident, the construction industry is built in a way to hold certain parties responsible when malfunction or negligence leads to injury and death.
The question of who is responsible for the injuries in a scaffolding accident depends heavily on the cause of the accident. Malfunctions in the scaffolding equipment can likely be traced back to a defect in the design or production of the scaffolds, which is ultimately the fault of the manufacturing company. On the other hand, accidents that occur on scaffolds but involve misuse, lack of safety equipment or lack of proper training are placed on the construction company. Either way, the responsible party must be held accountable for how their shortfall led another person to be injured or even killed.
One of the most devastating aspects of construction accidents is that they involve an individual's means of financial support. Not only is the worker injured or killed while trying to provide for his or her dependents, but the injuries they sustain often times leave them unable to continue their jobs. This adds to the costs of medical and emotional expenses because the inability to work directly translates into the inability to earn income.
If you were injured in a construction accident that involved scaffolds or if you lost a family member to one such incident, contact a Santa Clarita personal injury attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus to learn how we may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your sorrow. As you are forced to face this difficult situation, we believe that you at least deserve to be provided for financially to deal with any expenses or losses that have resulted from the accident.