Ladder and Scaffold Accidents Construction Accidents
For many workers in the construction industry, climbing on ladders and scaffolding is part of the job. While these tools are necessary for many building and construction projects, they are inherently dangerous and are one of the most common reasons for injuries on construction sites. If you were injured by a ladder or scaffold accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries.Ladders and Scaffolds Injure Thousands
Even with today’s safety technology, falling from heights is still a very real concern for construction workers, window washers, house painters, and others. An estimated 65% of the construction industry works on some type of scaffolding or ladder as part of their daily work. Falls from this equipment causes approximately 15% of all construction accident deaths each year and causes at least 20,000 injuries in the industry alone.
Injuries caused by a fall from a ladder or scaffold can be severe. It is not uncommon for these accidents to result in severe or permanent injuries, like broken bones and fractures, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and even death.
These serious injuries are often preventable. Usually, falls from scaffolding or ladders can be attributed to two causes: defective or broken equipment, and human error. Depending on what caused the fall, an injured worker may have several options to recover compensation for his or her injuries.Common Causes of Falls from Ladders and Scaffolding
One of the best ways to prevent falls from ladders and scaffolding is to follow the recommended standards set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Every year, OSHA publishes a list of the top ten safety violations that they issue to employers and workplaces across the country. Consistently, the construction industry takes the top spot with the most violations stemming from the failure to follow proper fall protection safety standards. Also in the top ten on OSHA’s list are violations for scaffolding and ladder safety.
Employers and employees can both make efforts to keep the construction site safe while working on ladders and scaffolding. Employers should make sure that workers are fully trained on fall safety and have access to all the safety equipment needed to perform a job safely. Workers must be sure to follow the guidelines for using such equipment and should make that ladders and scaffolding are being used correctly.
Some of the most common reasons why ladders and scaffolding may cause injuries include:
- Defects in the ladder or scaffold,
- Exceeding the weight load for the equipment
- Failing to secure the ladder or scaffold
- Faulty design or defective materials
- Lack of adequate safety equipment such as guardrails or harnesses
- Lack of qualified supervision
Many people and entities share responsibility for worksite safety. For instance, the contractor in charge of the site has certain responsibilities to keep workers safe. Similarly, subcontractors have their own responsibilities to manage the safety of workers in their area of the project. Finally, the overall construction site owner may also has a duty to ensure that workers are safe.
All construction workers have the right to a safe and secure workplace. Workers who believe that their work site is unsafe should report any dangerous conditions to their managers or supervisors. If that fails, workers have the right to report unsafe work environments and safety standard violations directly to OSHA.Injured in a Ladder or Scaffold Accident? We Can Help.
Falls from a scaffold or ladder can cause serious injuries that take months to heal. Workers may be unable to work for weeks or even months, and may never be able to go back to work. For that reason, it is important to speak with a Miami construction accident attorney and make sure that you receive enough compensation to provide for you and your family while you heal.
If you are a construction worker who was injured in a fall, you are entitled to workers’ compensation for your injuries. In certain circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek additional damages. Some workers may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
Figuring out what type of benefits you deserve after an injury on the job can be a complicated process. At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your injury or accident, and help you choose the best way to protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help, contact our office today by calling (877) 475-2905.