Construction work is dangerous, and one of the most common causes of worker injury and death is falls. Many of those falls are from scaffolding. Those injured on the job due to a scaffolding accident are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which pay for medical costs and replace some wages while the employee is recovering and unable to work. However, depending on the details of the accident, a personal injury lawsuit may be another option.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed criteria on scaffolding safety. OSHA notes that 65 percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds, approximately 2.3 million workers. Scaffolding accidents take the lives of roughly 60 workers annually and injure 4,500 more. Employers should know the regulations concerning scaffolding safety, which include:
- No support by loose objects, such as barrels
- A scaffold is designed to support a minimum of four times the proposed weight
- Lean-to and shore scaffolds are not permitted
- Any tools, debris, etc. on a scaffold is kept to a minimum
- Employees engaging in overhead work require overhead protection
- Planks should overlap by at least 1 foot, and should extend over end supports by 1 to 1.5 feet
Typical Scaffolding Accidents
Beside falls, workers injured in scaffolding accidents are often struck by falling objects, including tools and debris. Collapse of the scaffold from excess weight is another frequent accident cause. When it comes to falls from scaffolds, the scaffolds in question often do not have proper fall protection equipment.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
People walking in the vicinity of scaffolding are also subject to scaffolding accidents. However, if they are not working on the construction project, they would file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, an injured worker should also file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to seeking workers’ compensation. An attorney will advise a client of the best way to proceed based on their situation. Generally, compensation from a personal injury case will exceed that of a workers’ compensation claim. That is because a personal injury claim takes into consideration pain and suffering, which a workers’ compensation claim does not. A worker may have a personal injury claim if injured in a scaffolding accident if the accident resulted partially from third-party negligence, such as:
- The scaffolding manufacturer
- The owner of the property
- The installation company
Evidence of negligence in such cases include a lack of safety harnesses or safety nets, scaffolding defects and poor installation.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Victims of Scaffolding Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident or any other type of accident while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Delaware County workers’ compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. We represent clients in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Pinehurst, North Carolina, and throughout Pennsylvania. We also serve those who were injured in a scaffolding accident unrelated to their job. Call 888-999-1962 or complete an online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.