Some of the most common injuries on construction sites involve scaffolding accidents. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately 4,500 scaffolding-related injuries and 50 deaths each year. That’s roughly twelve injuries per day, four deaths per month.
Scaffolding is a temporary structure made of wooden and metallic poles on which construction workers erect or repair buildings. Scaffolding is a necessary aspect to construction but its temporary status can sometimes mean safety risks. It is imperative that construction workers adhere to safety guidelines outlined by OSHA when working on or around scaffolding.
According to a study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the most common forms of scaffolding accidents are caused by:
· Structural deficiencies resulting in collapse.
· A worker slipping and falling from the structure.
· Falling objects striking workers at the base of the structure.
Many work-related scaffolding injuries result in worker’s comp cases, meaning the injured worker accepts benefits in exchange for not-suing his or her employer. However, not all scaffolding accidents are suffered by construction workers. On September 20, 2011 the New York Times ran a story about a scaffolding structure in Harlem, NY which collapsed onto a passing bus. The accident left seventeen people injured, including eight bus passengers and two police officers.
Because scaffolding accidents lead to such serious injuries in and around the Philadelphia area as well as other major metropolitan cities is why individuals working on or around scaffolds need to observe the rules outlined in OSHA’s “Construction Training Program.” Maintaining structurally sound scaffolding helps to ensure the safety of both construction workers and passersby.
Injuries to workers at a job site can lead to a workers compensation claim and a personal injury case simultaneously. This means the employer and/or the employer’s insurance company for the injured worker is responsible for paying for unpaid medical bills and wage loss to the injured worker at the site. Additionally, that injured worker may also have second claim against the party responsible for placing or installing the scaffolding. Locating and identifying the proper parties can be a complicated process. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney can help the injured worker through the process of protecting his or her rights.