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Scaffolding and Safety

Posted on May 17, 2017

Recently, a young man plummeted 30 feet in a Center City construction accident. He was working on scaffolding to prepare the roof of the main stage for the NFL Draft. While news outlets reported that the man was expected to recover, there was no mention of safety gear and whether he was following safety protocol.

According to the United States Department of Labor, “an estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds,” and that “protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year.”

OSHA issues safety standards for scaffolding. For example, a scaffold must be able to support “without failure, its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load.” Workers must be trained on correct procedures and potential hazards. Guardrails, lifelines and other fall protection are required. For a good overview, refer to OSHA’s informational booklet, Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry, one of many guides on the topic.

An injury can be life-changing. Knowing the rules for safety, and being vigilant, will help. But if you or a loved one are involved in a scaffolding accident, consult an experienced construction accident attorney. If someone on the job did not follow the safety protocol, you may be entitled to just compensation.

At Duffy + Partners, we understand worker rights in a construction accident. We’ve also stayed on top of legislation and issues related to work accidents, such as the proposed Scaffold Safety Law in New York. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need advice on a particular legal situation.