New York Construction Site Scaffolding Accident Attorneys
Each day, more than 6.5 million construction workers work at more than 250,000 construction sites across the United States. “The private construction industry sector had the highest number of workplace fatalities in New York City with 20, little changed from the previous year. Building construction accounted for 11, or 55 percent, of the fatal injuries in this industry,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Fatal Occupational Injuries in New York City – 2017 findings.
Almost every construction project uses scaffolds to provide workers with the necessary elevation to access buildings from top to bottom. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently.
Scaffolding accidents on construction sites in New York can cause devastating injuries for construction workers, even fatalities in severe instances. Even if the accident does not result in death, construction workers may be left with lifelong injuries that can negatively impact a worker’s ability to work. Whether it be for a few months during recovery, years of rehabilitation, or forced early retirement due to injury, construction site accidents can negatively affect construction workers’ livelihoods and ability to earn a living for their families.
According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction site accidents, and they account for about one-third of all fatalities in the construction industry. OSHA says that fall protection procedures are required when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level. It also applies at heights of less than 6 feet, when a construction worker is working near dangerous equipment, such as over machinery with open drive belts, pulleys or gears or open vats of degreasing agents or acid.
OSHA recommends the use of guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and restraint systems, which can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls; however, not all construction sites have these safety protocols in place to prevent avoidable injuries. And even if these protocols are in place, human error can account for an unavoidable trip that may become a traumatic accident or even a tragedy. No matter if utilizing supported scaffolding, suspended scaffolding or aerial lifts, adequate safety measures are essential to ensure worker safety and to prevent unnecessary injuries.
Most scaffold accidents can be avoided if appropriate safety measures are instituted and upheld. Unfortunately, safety violations are not uncommon and injuries do occur due to employer or contractor negligence. In some instances, there may be other responsible parties for an accident, including outside vendors, leasing companies, equipment designers, manufacturers, or subcontractors.
Construction workers are also expected to be adequately trained in fall protection, which can include instructions on safety regulations and standards and training in the use of safety equipment. The construction company is responsible for making sure the construction workers on the worksite are properly trained and uphold that training.
No matter if you were using tubular steel scaffolding, wood scaffolding, rolling scaffolds, baker scaffolds, or pole scaffolds, it is important that adequate safety measures are in place when using each type of scaffold to ensure the safety of the construction worker and to avoid unnecessary accidents, injuries, or death.
If you or your loved ones have been injured on a construction site in New York due to a scaffolding accident, you may not be sure what your options are. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to get the help yo need from one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.
Causes of Scaffolding Accidents on New York Construction Sites
To ensure the safety of construction workers who utilize scaffolding to perform their work duties, it is essential that all scaffolding mechanisms are inspected regularly. Under New York City building codes, any adjustable or non-adjustable suspended scaffolds are subject to installation inspection any time any part of the scaffold is removed, moved, or added to the existing structure of the scaffold. Inspection of the scaffolding is required to be inspected by a licensed rigger, rigging foreman, professional engineer, licensed architect, or someone employed and supervised by a licensed engineer or registered architect in New York. Without these regular safety checks, scaffolding can collapse, fail, deteriorate, or lead to slips off of scaffolding, all of which can be deadly.
Some common construction site scaffolding accidents are due to:
- Improper scaffold construction or assembly
- Lack of handrails or guards on scaffolding
- Scaffolding that is not maintained in good working condition
- Inadequate regular testing of scaffolding
- Unstable or secure scaffolding
Contact a New York Construction Site Scaffolding Accident lawyer of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today if you have any questions or need legal advice.
Common Construction Site Scaffolding Injuries
Construction workers in New York are injured in scaffold accidents every year. And due to the significant heights that the scaffolds are positioned in, falls from scaffolds or objects that fall from scaffolds onto workers below, can be severe or fatal in more severe instances.
Common construction site scaffolding accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Bruises and lacerations
- Tissue damage
- Back, neck and shoulder injuries
Under the New York Labor Law 240, “Scaffold Law” provides protection for construction site workers who are at risk of falling and sustaining “gravity-related injuries” while performing their work duties. This law places the liability for falls with the construction company or building owner and requires the responsible parties to create safe working conditions to prevent falls, such as utilizing scaffolding with safety rails and to bear weight equal to four times or greater than the weight of workers and their necessary materials.
If you were hurt on the job due to an unsafe scaffold, your may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. The New York City workplace injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP have recovered millions of dollars for clients who were injured in a construction site scaffolding accidents in New York. In one instance, our attorneys helped a construction worker who was awarded $800,000 after he fell from a ladder positioned on scaffolding.
The scaffolding injury lawyers with Hach & Rose, LLP have been helping construction workers injured as a result of poor worksite conditions for decades. We can put our extensive trial experience, compassion, and reputation to use for you in your case. Contact our attorneys at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online to learn about your legal options in a free, no-obligation consultation.