Take a look at the New York skyline, and you’ll see scaffolding just about everywhere. The construction industry is alive and well in New York, without a doubt. And as great as that is for New Yorkers in many ways, it also raises the specter of construction site accidents. Unfortunately, scaffolding is the site of far too many such incidents. If you or a loved one has suffered a scaffolding accident that has resulted in serious consequences, speaking to a Long Island personal injury attorney may bring you needed relief.
What Is a Scaffold?
Scaffolds are elevated work platforms that give workers the opportunity to do their jobs in a particular area for a limited amount of time, The three main types of scaffolding include:
- Supported Scaffolds: platforms that are supported by legs or frames from below;
- Suspended Scaffolds: platforms that are attached with cables from above; and
- Aerial and Scissor Lifts: equipment that raises workers in buckets or platforms.
Long Island Workers Who Use Scaffolds
Throughout the country, roughly two-thirds of construction workers—well over two million individuals—perform their duties on or around scaffolding. There are three categories of constructions workers who commonly use scaffolds:
- Those who design them;
- Those who erect and/or dismantle them; and
- Those who perform work on them.
Common Accidents Involving Scaffolding in Long Island
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that thousands of accidents every year result in up to 60 fatalities and over 4,000 injuries annually. The result, in addition to the physical and emotional toll on employees and their families, is almost a billion dollars in lost workdays. What are the most frequently occurring types of accidents involving scaffolding?
- Collapsing scaffolds;
- Being struck by falling objects when below scaffolding; and
Avoiding Common Accidents in Long Island
While no system of rules and regulations can eliminate every accident, when companies enforce basic safety precautions, the number of issues are easily reduced. In addition to proper training (provided in the language workers understand), scaffolding dangers can be mitigated when companies adhere to serious safety protocols:
- Falls can be avoided by requiring adequate harnesses for anyone above ground level, in addition to having adequate toe-boards, hole covers, and guardrails;
- Collapses do not occur when scaffolds are constructed properly and are not overloaded;
- Protocols for handling tools, debris, and work materials can reduce the number of objects that fall from scaffolds, and safety nets below scaffolding can protect those below; and
- Maintaining a safe distance from power lines can eliminate electrocution woes.
Following an Accident in Long Island
If you or a family member has incurred serious injuries or death as a result of an incident involving scaffolding, you may be shocked by the financial impact of the incident. Workers’ compensation provides only a fraction of the earnings previously received, but your bills keep coming in.
In the event the accident was the result of negligence on the part of the construction company, you may be eligible to receive compensation from them to address medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You focus on healing: let the knowledgeable legal team at the Falkowitz Law Firm take care of the rest. Contact our Garden City Office today for a free, confidential consultation by calling 844-GET-GARY.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.