Workers falling from scaffolds are one of the most common type accidents that occur on construction sites or work sites around Honolulu. Frequently, victims of these accidents sustain serious injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
There are several types of scaffolds used on work sites that include:
- Work platforms
- Pump jack scaffolds
- Baker scaffolds
- Ladder jacks scaffolds
- Top plate scaffolds
- Aerial lifts
- Roof bracket scaffolds
- Mobile scaffolds
- Trestle and horse scaffolds
While injuries are not uncommon due to scaffolding accidents, many workers are unaware that they are not restricted to only workers compensation if they are injured due to a scaffolding accident. Scaffold accident lawsuits can be filed against other parties that include contractors, scaffold manufacturers, and subcontractors.
Common Claims that arise from Scaffold Accidents.
- Lack of fall protection
- Negligence in the manner that scaffold platform is controlled
- Negligence in the manner of providing access to scaffolds
- Inadequate training on building taking down in using scaffolds
Who is to blame and who pays?
On large construction sites is not unusual for employees from different firms to share the same scaffold. If one employer built a scaffolding but failed to attach safety lanyards, and a worker from another company falls from that scaffold, it is not only a workers’ compensation case but also the worker can sue the other company for damages.
Scaffold falls are a hazard to a broad range of employees, is not just construction workers who use this potentially hazardous equipment. Other workers can be painters, gutter installers, roofers, window washers, and others that face the danger of falling from high places.
Scaffolding Accident Causes
One cause of scaffolding accidents occurs when the scaffold is improperly erected, for example, when a Baker scaffold is moved to another part of the site but the pins are placed incorrectly or if a working platform is not the right one for the scaffold.
Another cause of scaffold injury is due to the manufacturing incorrectly placing the braces, or perhaps a weld failed or there are other types of product failure. In this situation, the injured worker can file a product liability claim against the scaffold manufacturer for defective equipment and may recover financial compensation for the injury.
When a scaffold accident occurs, in almost all instances workers are injured because of someone’s failure to provide or require full protection. Occasionally, a general contractor discourages or forbids the use of fall protection.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies have safety regulations designed to protect workers from scaffold accidents. Unfortunately, these regulations only work when they are followed. General contractors as well as building owners are required to make sure there is safety equipment for workers to use when working on high elevation platforms or close to a drop- off or excavated area. These include safe scaffolding, properly maintained hoists, safe and sturdy ladders, and safety harnesses or lanyards.
Contact an attorney
If you or someone you love suffered an injury or even a fatality from an on-the-job scaffolding accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your case, as it is possible that you have the basis for a third-party action that can result in you receiving financial compensation.
photo by Anthony Shemmans