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Millions of workers in the United States perform their jobs on scaffolding. These temporary platforms allow men and women to clean, paint, repair, and build structures of all types and heights. To safely support these men and women, scaffolding needs to meet strict guidelines in design, use, and weight restrictions.
Improperly built scaffolding poses an enormous fall risk to workers whether they are a few feet off the ground or stationed at the top of a skyscraper. From broken bones to head, neck, and spine injuries, scaffolding accidents can be incredibly dangerous and even fatal.
According to the United States Department of Labor, around 4,500 workers are injured in scaffolding accidents every year. Many of these accidents are fatal. The most common scaffolding accidents posing a risk to workers include:
To reduce the occurrence of preventable, dangerous scaffolding accidents and injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clear guidelines in place for employers and workers utilizing scaffolding on the job. Based on OSHA safety regulations, scaffolding should:
Employers should use OSHA regulations in conjunction with state guidelines to ensure workers always utilize scaffolding safely.
Even with all we know about how hazardous scaffolding can be and how to prevent debilitating and catastrophic construction injuries, the number of scaffolding accidents every year remains high. So, what recourse do workers have if they are injured in a scaffolding accident on the job?
A fall from a great height or being struck with an object from above can be life-changing. Beyond the pain and suffering these injuries can cause, there is the financial impact of ongoing medical care and loss of income for workers who are physically unable to do their job. Yet, injured workers do have some recourse to recover compensation for these losses.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to injured workers on a no-fault basis. This form of insurance is used to cover all medical expenses and a portion of the employee’s wages when they are unable to work. If a third-party is responsible for the scaffolding failure or misuse, the injured worker can also consider bringing a third-party personal injury claim as well. This type of claim is an option when a party other than the employer or the worker built or operated the scaffolding that failed. Compensation from a personal injury claim covers pain and suffering, lost income, and other types of losses beyond those covered by Workers’ Compensation.
Anyone injured in a scaffolding workplace accident should consult with a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow to determine the best legal course of action. Every client receives the time and attention their case deserves. We will review the details of your accident before recommending the next step to recover compensation for your losses. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.