Scaffolding is a necessary part of construction projects, as well as building restoration, cleaning, and repair projects. It allows workers to access otherwise unreachable areas and work at heights, but when scaffolding is erected or disassembled hastily and without proper safety precautions, it can cause serious injury to workers using it.
A fall from scaffolding can result in a severe head and neck injuries. Any damage to the spinal cord could mean permanent damage that leaves the victim paralyzed. Broken bones, cuts and lacerations, and trauma are also common injuries in scaffolding accidents. Scaffolding accidents can happen for several reasons, including:
- Faulty materials used to construct the scaffolding
- Failure to erect or disassemble the scaffolding according to the manufacturer’s specifications
- Failure to build a scaffold that can support the weight of materials being used
- Overloading of the scaffolding
- Failure to regularly inspect scaffolding before each shift
- Workers being struck by falling tools and materials
- Failure to provide the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats and fall protection
- Weather conditions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines for scaffolding, including capacity and planking requirements, platform construction requirements, work areas and guardrails, and competency standards for those erecting scaffolding. Failure to follow these guidelines puts the safety of workers and anybody in the area of the scaffolding at great risk.
Workers’ Compensation for Scaffolding Injuries
If you were injured in a work-related scaffolding accident, you may apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits that may include some or all of the following:
- Medical benefits to cover hospital stays, prescription medication, and prosthetics
- Wage loss benefits
- Partial or total disability, whether temporary or permanent
- Specific loss benefits for amputations or disfigurement
- Death benefits for surviving family members of a worker who suffers a fatality
Any work-related injury should be reported to your employer immediately because failure to do so could jeopardize your claim.
If the scaffolding accident was caused by defective equipment or materials, compensation can be recovered through a third-party suit that holds the manufacturer or distributor accountable for negligence. This type of suit can bring compensation for emotional trauma, pain and suffering, lost income, and the cost of medical and rehabilitative treatment. This is in addition to any Workers’ Compensation benefits you may receive.
Liability in a scaffolding accident can be complex and involve many parties, such as the building or property owner, scaffolding manufacturer, equipment distributor, general contractor, installer, and others depending on the size of the work site. Consulting with Workers’ Compensation lawyer with extensive experience pursuing claims for injured victims can help ensure the success of your case.
Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Recover Compensation for Injured Workers
Scaffolding injuries can be serious and life-altering. If you suffered a work-related injury, contact AlpernSchubert P.C. and speak to one of our dedicated Pittsburgh Workers’ Compensation lawyers. Call us at 800-243-6095 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Pittsburgh, we represent injured workers throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.