Philadelphia + Delaware County Scaffolding Accident Injury Attorneys
A scaffold is a temporary, elevated work area designed to allow construction workers access to structures located high off the ground. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are approximately 4,500 injuries and 60 deaths reported each year related to scaffolding accidents on construction sites. Of these incidents, 72% of the injured construction workers reported that the accident was directly related to poorly constructed or maintained scaffolding that lead to slips, falls, and getting hit on the head by falling equipment. With over 65% of the 2.3 million American construction workers reporting that they use scaffolding daily in their job, safety must come first to avoid these serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
Construction Workers’ Scaffolding Injuries as a Result of Safety Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes the safety hazards that scaffolds present on construction sites. The administration is responsible for developing safety standards aimed at reducing the risk of serious and sometimes deadly accidents on the job. Though scaffolding accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common causes involve improper installation or use of scaffolds, poorly maintained equipment, and defective materials.
Falls from high elevation due to the lack of handrails or use of fall protection equipment such as harnesses can result in some of the most serious injuries. Improperly installed scaffolding and poorly maintained equipment can lead to the scaffolding collapsing, sending workers hurling to the ground. When equipment and materials fall from a scaffold workers on the ground or located underneath the falling debris can be seriously injured or killed when struck, even when wearing a protective hard hat. Electrocution can occur when scaffolds are placed too close to electrical wires or the workers are too close to electrical components. Injuries from these types of accidents can include brain injuries, spinal injuries, back, neck & nerve injuries, burns and work fatalities.
Regulations for Installation and Maintenance of Scaffolding in Philadelphia and Delaware County
- Construction: Scaffolds must be constructed on solid ground, with footings that secure the structure and can bear its maximum load without shifting or dislodgment.
- Maximum Load: Scaffolding must be able to bear its own weight and six times that of the projected load. All scaffold framing accessories, such as braces, brackets, trusses, ladders, etc. must be able to bear four times its intended load.
- Falling Object Prevention: Employers must secure an 18 gauge net along the underside of the scaffold’s planking to protect workers from falling objects and debris.
- Safety Equipment: Scaffolding safety equipment should include guardrails, mid-rails, and toe boards, fall protection equipment such as harnesses, and properly maintained brackets, screws, planks, ladders, and ropes.
- Electrical Safety: Scaffolds must not be closer than ten feet from electrical wires and power lines.
- Inspection: Scaffolding should only be constructed, moved, erected or taken down by a qualified and trained specialist. Qualified and trained personnel must inspect the scaffolds before each work shift, at regular intervals and after any incident or accident.
- Maintenance: All scaffolding accessories that appear worn out or damaged must be removed and replaced immediately by qualified and trained personnel. Scaffold planking must remain firm and secure.
Call our Pennsylvania Scaffolding Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a scaffolding or construction accident in Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias can help you claim the benefits you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Media and Philadelphia, PA, we help injured workers throughout the Philadelphia area, including Berks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Chester County. Call us at (484) 679-5239 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.