The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 65% of construction workers in the United States use scaffolding every day. This adds up to millions of workers. Every construction worker knows that climbing up scaffolding and walking around on these temporary platforms high above the ground puts you at risk of head and spinal injuries caused by a fall. Even with that knowledge, there are nearly 10,000 scaffold-related injuries occur annually in the United States.
Common causes of injuries
These temporary structures do not look stable from the ground, and looks are not deceiving. Typical reasons for injuries include:
- Lack of oversight: According to the United States Department of Labor, a competent person should check the scaffolding before it is used. Moreover, every structure needs to meet the guidelines set out by OSHA, which include how to attach the frames and ropes so that they do not fall apart. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
- Coworkers can cause injuries: A reckless or negligent coworker may not put their tools back in the proper place, which can then cause these items could fall from above and injure a coworker. Coworkers may not have the necessary training for the job or working on scaffolding, their mistakes or ignorance can trip you or knock you off balance by accident.
- Gear: The tools can be quite heavy, or the weight of the tools could also cause you to fall over a railing or through a walkway. These tools are dangerous to operate even when on solid ground.
- Faulty materials: Using poorly manufactured material, old pieces of wood or worn-out fasteners can lead to unsafe conditions and a collapse.
Was your injury someone else’s fault?
Understanding why scaffolding is dangerous is important for anyone suffered injuries. Scaffolding injuries can be catastrophic or even deadly whether it involves a fall, getting knocked by equipment or electrocuted. Workers often face long recoveries and may never earn the same pay again because of those injuries. Injured victims are often within their rights to file a lawsuit over lost wages, related medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Those with questions can talk to a personal injury attorney who handles these kinds of cases here in California.