Scaffolding accidents typically involve workers who slip and fall while on-duty, but accidents can also occur due to poorly constructed scaffolding, falling objects, planks giving way or lack of supervision.
Scaffold Accident Statistics
In 2009, the most recent year for which OSHA has compiled data about scaffold accidents, 54 fatalities occurred due to scaffolding-related accidents. A staggering 72 percent of scaffolding accidents occur when a support plank gives way or an employee slips. There are approximately 10,000 construction worker injuries every year that involve scaffold accidents.
The majority of these scaffold accidents involved a failure to comply with OSHA safety standards. Almost 25 percent of the people injured in these accidents receive no scaffold training and were not aware how to safely work on a scaffold. As crazy as it may seem, 77 percent of scaffolds are not equipped with guardrails, which is a leading cause for falls in scaffold accident cases. All of these scenarios are preventable, and could save roughly 50 lives and prevent nearly 4,500 scaffold accidents every year - almost half of all scaffold accidents.
Causes of Scaffold AccidentsScaffold accidents result from a range of causes, including:
- Inadequate scaffold design
Absence of a ‘competent person' to oversee scaffold construction or compliance with safety standards
Failure of scaffold tie wires, bracing, planking, guard railing, locks
Who is Legally Responsible for Scaffold Accidents?
In Texas, if you're hurt as a result of a company's or manufacturer's negligence, you have a right to recover compensation for your medical bills, missed work days, pain and suffering. Scaffold accidents may occur as a result of a failure to property erect or supervise the scaffolding, in which case the third-party (your boss, the scaffolding crew, etc.) may be liable for the accident.
In other cases, your employer might be directly liable for a scaffold accident, and you'd be compensated under worker's comp.
However, in order to file a claim after a scaffold accident, you'll need to gather evidence to prove that a) your injuries were caused as a result of a scaffolding accident and b) the accident was caused by someone else's negligence.
If you're considering pursuing a scaffold accident claim, I'd advise you to consult a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can tell you (for free) if you have a case, how strong your case is, the kind of evidence you'll need and how to go about handling the insurance companies involved. If you choose to hire a lawyer, find one who works on a contingency fee basis - that means you don't pay them anything until they win your case for you.
Since worker's compensation and on-the-job injury claims tend to involve multiple parties and significant injuries, it's in your best interest to consult a professional.
The Anderson Law Firm offers free consultations to all injury victims. Call us in Fort Worth at 817-294-1900, in Dallas at 214-327-8000, or Contact Us Online to learn more about your rights and scaffold accident liability.
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