Have You or a Loved One Sustained a Serious Scaffolding Injury?
Scaffolding is a temporary platform constructed for reaching heights above arms' reach for the purpose of building construction, maintenance, or repair. Scaffolding is generally made of lumber and steel and can range from simple to complex in design, depending on its use and purpose. Millions of construction workers, painters, and building maintenance crews work on scaffolding every day and are in arms way of scaffolding collapse.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards set performance-based criteria to protect employees from scaffold-related hazards such as falls, failing objects, structural instability, electrocution, or overloading. More about faulty ladder lawsuits.
The questions are: How closely was your workplace adhering to the best practices for scaffold collapse standards? Do you need a knowledgeable Pennsylvania scaffolding collapse construction accident lawyer?
According to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), in 2005 an average of 88 fatalities occurred in the years 2000-2004 from scaffolds and staging; 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these scaffolding collapse accidents can be controlled when a construction site is compliant with OSHA standards.
An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, work on scaffolds frequently. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents would prevent 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths every year, at a savings for American employers of $90 million in workdays not lost.
OSHA has very specific standards for the construction and use of scaffolding in the workplace. Many large commercial and government construction projects require all workers to have scaffold training and OSHA certification. Scaffolding regulations include using specific types of lumber when not using steel; weight limitations are based on the design of the scaffolding; and OSHA makes regular checks for weakened or broken sections. OSHA places stringent safety regulations on the construction and use of scaffolding not only to reduce serious workplace injury or death, but also to save employers millions of dollars in lost time and workers compensation. OSHA has the authority to issue fines to any company that they find to be in violation of scaffolding regulations.
Scaffolding standards include:
- The standard requires fall protection at a 10 foot height above a lower level for employees.
- The height of the top rail for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service before January 1, 2000 can be between 36 inches and 45 inches. The height of the top rail for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service after January 1, 2000 must be between 38 inches and 45 inches.
- When erecting and dismantling supported scaffolds, a competent person must provide a safe way for access and fall protection.
- Employers must train every employee who works on a scaffold on the procedures to minimize the hazards.
- Before each work shift and after any occurrence that could affect the structural integrity, a competent person must inspect the scaffold and scaffold components for visible defects.
- A guardrail on all sides except the side where the work is being done must protect employees doing overhand bricklaying from supported scaffolds.
- Read more about OSHA's Fall Protection Standard for Residential Construction
The bottom line is that scaffolding collapse accidents and injuries are mostly preventable.
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse – died from a fatal scaffolding collapse, the Pennsylvania law firm of Anapol Schwartz can help you sort out of the facts and determine what your legal options are.