Americans work hard for a living and are employed in a variety of occupations. Some employment choices present a higher risk of work-related injuries than others. One such occupation that would be classified in the high-risk of injury category would be a construction worker, especially those employed in high-rise construction. There are many causes of scaffolding accidents, which often lead to severe injuries and even death. The following is a review of some of the causes of scaffolding accidents you didn’t know about.
Scaffolding is nothing new. The use of scaffolding dates back thousands of years, even before the Egyptians utilized them for construction of the pyramids. Today, scaffolding is utilized in both the construction and maintenance of high-rise structures. While construction workers utilize them the most, they are also used for window washing and painting high-rise buildings throughout the world. Due to the dangerous nature of working high elevations, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines regarding the use and construction of scaffolding. Despite the guidelines and safety precautions, scaffolding accidents are still a frequent occurrence.
Statistics from OSHA indicate that about two of every three construction workers utilize scaffolding on the job. As a tool utilized in construction, scaffolding is only temporary in nature. Since it is not assembled as a permanent structure it lacks the stability that a permanent structure could provide. Scaffolding accidents statistics from OSHA show over 10,000 accidents annually related to the use of scaffolding, including about 80 deaths per year. Injuries related to scaffolding range from worker falls due to high winds or weather destabilizing the structure, and in some circumstances, catastrophic collapses of entire scaffolding structures. Analysis of OSHA statistics suggests that close to 50 percent of the scaffolding related accidents may have been prevented if OSHA safety standards had been adhered to.
While scaffolding accidents are truly accidents, negligence in assembling the structure and failure to comply with OSHA guidelines frequently contribute to the accident. The dangers presented by scaffolding accidents stretches beyond the workers working on the scaffolding itself. Every year, hundreds of construction workers employed on the ground are injured from debris and equipment falling off the scaffolding structures, due either to the structure itself or due to negligence of the workers on the scaffolding. Following a basic OSHA safety rule regarding the wearing of hardhats on the construction site can reduce the frequency and severity of such injuries but does not prevent the risk of injury altogether.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a scaffolding accident, contact the Thomas J. Henry Law firm as soon as possible. At Thomas J. Henry, the largest personal injury law firm in Texas, our lawyers care experts dealing with construction accidents and can assist you through the entire legal process—start to finish. Our primary objective is always aiming to get you full compensation for your injuries, including all medical bills, lost wages, and even for your pain and suffering. Thomas J. Henry has the experience, expertise, and determination to get you the large settlements and verdicts you deserve. Call the Thomas J. Henry Law firm today at 361-221-5053 for a free consultation.