Scaffolding Construction Accident Attorney
Construction Accident Lawsuit Attorneys
Scaffolds are common fixtures at construction sites. They offer a way for workers to use tools and materials at a suspended project site on a supposedly safe, stable platform. However, scaffolds have led to many serious injuries and casualties at construction sites because some workers think scaffolds are completely safe. In truth, scaffolding exposes workers to serious risks of falling or being struck by a falling object. In 2007 alone, 73 out of 1,204 construction deaths were caused by workers falling from scaffolds. Routinely, scaffolding-related violations rank #1 on OSHA’s Top Ten list of frequently cited safety standard violations. The most common factors in scaffold-related falls are a lack of proper guard-railing and/or unsecured planking or flooring.
In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study, 72 percent of workers injured while working on a scaffold attributed the accident to their planking or floor support failing, or to slipping or being struck by a falling object. In 1992, a 34-year-old bridge painter in Pennsylvania fell 364 feet and died after the suspension cable on his scaffold snapped.OSHA first tried to address the dangers of working on scaffolds in 1971 by creating and sending out various safety regulations aimed at scaffolding use. However, OSHA had to revise their regulations in 1996 because a BLS study found that 25 percent of workers who were injured in scaffold-related accidents had received absolutely no prior scaffold safety training, and 77 percent of inspected scaffolds at work sites had no guardrails in place. Yet, even today, thousands of workers are injured and many die in scaffolding accidents each year.
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Scaffolding is generally built out of wood planks and steel or aluminum pipes, with aluminum given slightly more preference over steel due to its lightness. It is important that scaffolding be lightweight because of the need to raise and lower platforms to different levels during a construction project. If scaffolding had much semi-permanence to it, it would be cumbersome to relocate. However, what makes aluminum an attractive scaffolding material because of its weight-saving qualities also makes it dangerous because aluminum cannot withstand the same levels of force as steel can. Aluminum flexes, dents and cracks easily, and should scaffolding not be properly fixed to the side of a building and high winds suddenly pick up, or something falls from above and strikes the platform, an aluminum scaffold (and the workers’ safety) could be compromised.
There are some safety precautions workers are encouraged to take, such as using fall arrest systems and guardrails. Also important is not to overload the scaffold with too many workers or heavy tools. But guardrails and fall arrest systems won’t protect against objects falling from above, or the failure to notice a damaged suspension cable. Unfortunately, scaffolds are just inherently dangerous to work on or work around.
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Contact Knowledgeable Construction Accident Attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA at Berger & Lagnese, LLC
If you or someone you love has been injured in a scaffolding accident at a construction site due to unsafe working conditions, call the experienced construction accident attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Free investigation and evaluation. We work on cases throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Beaver, Erie, Altoona, and Washington, PA. Our office is located at 310 Grant St #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, and consultations can be scheduled either online or via phone at (412) 471-4300. There are laws in place that protect you in these situations and, by working together, we can help protect your safety. Don’t wait.