New York Scaffold Accidents Attorney
Scaffolds are used in almost every major construction project in New York. They are temporary structures that are built at construction sites to give workers access to all parts of a building. Construction workers working on the limited space of a scaffold while using heavy equipment can be difficult and hazardous. Every year, thousands of construction workers are injured and/or killed in scaffolding accidents. Most accidents can, however, be prevented if employers provide workers with proper safety precaution training.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has estimated that scaffolding accidents have led to more than 4,500 incidents and over 50 deaths every year. Such accidents can cause serious damage, including broken bones, head trauma, neck and spine injuries, and even death. In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study, roughly 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident to the support giving way, slipping and falling on scaffolding, or being struck by falling objects. Other common causes of scaffolding accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Improper Training: It is essential that scaffold workers are properly trained in the safety precautions of climbing and moving around the scaffolds. If they are not properly trained they may cause injury to themselves, or other workers on and around the scaffolds.
- Improper construction of scaffolds: Unfortunately, scaffolds are often improperly constructed because of time constraints and negligence. When this occurs, workers on or around it can get hurt and even suffer catastrophic injury.
- Falling Objects: Tools and equipment that fall off of scaffolds and can be lethal to other workers and pedestrians on the street. Blunt impact to the head is common in this scenario. Hardhats are an essential protection, but they don’t always prevent injury when a heavy object falls from high above.
- Improper Inspection of Scaffolds: All scaffolds should be inspected before each work shift and after any incident that could affect the structural integrity of the scaffolding. Debris should be cleared daily, and tools and equipment must be removed and not kept overnight. They should also be kept free of anything that could cause slips such as snow, ice, oil, or any other slippery substance.
- Faulty Safety Equipment: Construction workers who work on scaffolds should be provided with proper equipment to prevent falls, including:
- Body Harnesses: These harnesses should have an attachment location near the center of the worker’s back near the shoulder level or above the head in order to secure themselves
- Anchorages: These are Anchors used so that the worker can attach his/her personal fall equipment and is should be capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per worker
- Vertical Lifeline/Lanyard: All scaffold workers should be attached to a separate vertical lifeline which has a minimum breaking strength of 5000 pounds to ensure their safety.
- Horizontal Lifeline: This is a line rigged horizontally and secured to the anchorages. Workers on the scaffolds connect the line to their harness or personal fall system and moves with the worker between the two anchorage points.
- Webbing: These are the ropes and straps used in lifelines, lanyards, and body harnesses.
- Connectors: These include D-rings and snap hooks. They must be made from extremely strong steel according to OSHA requirements.
Applicable New York Laws
There are sections of New York’s Labor Law that can be used in your case that provide special protection for workers who have been injured. New York’s Labor Law section 240, known as the “scaffold law,” favors workers injured in scaffolding accidents and places the responsibility for proper building, maintaining, and use of scaffolding on the companies, managers in charge, and building owners of the construction site. Below is a quick reference to some of the applicable labor law sections that would apply to scaffold accidents and injuries.
- Section 200: Requires employers, contractors, and their agents to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This also holds those parties liable in the event of a workplace injury.
- Section 240: Seeks to prevent falls from heights as well as preventing items that are being lifted/hoisted from falling and injuring workers.
- Section 241(6): States that a violation of a provision of the New York State Industrial Code results in strict liability.
The construction attorneys that work on scaffolding accidents at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff are extremely knowledgeable in the “scaffold law” and how it applies to scaffolding accidents. We will determine who is legally at fault and fight for the justice you deserve.
COMMON INJURIES & WHAT CAN BE RECOVERED
OSHA has estimated that construction workers work on scaffolding around 65% of the time. Due to the amount of time that workers use scaffolding, it follows that some of the most common accidents at construction are related to the use of it. Whether it is falling from a height or having a piece of the scaffolding fall onto a pedestrian, the injuries that result from these accidents can be devastating. The most common types of these injuries that result include:
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back/spine injuries
If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to certain compensation as a result of your injuries. These types of compensation include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of past and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
How We Can Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in a scaffold related accident you may have the right to seek compensation for damages through a lawsuit against any liable parties. The New York scaffold accidents Attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff have extensive experience with the intricacies of New York Labor Law and construction site accidents. We will immediately investigate your claim, preserve evidence, take photographs and hire experts where necessary. We will build the foundation of a strong case and prepare it for trial in the eventuality that it doesn’t settle. We are aggressive and unyielding in pursuing compensation for our injured clients or the families of those who have lost their lives in construction accident cases.
If you or someone you know was injured in a scaffolding accident, contact us immediately for a free consultation with one of our experienced construction accident lawyers. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff have over 100 years of combined experience and are ready to assist you today. You can call our office at 212-962-1020 (toll free at 877-MSL-4LAW or 877-675-4529), or Send us an e-mail