Scaffold accidents can have roots in negligence

If you work in construction, you know that it can be a very hazardous occupation at times. And while everyone must take personal responsibility for their own safety, employers have a duty to their workers to ensure that the job sites are safe and that workers have the necessary protective equipment.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigates workers’ on-the-job deaths and injuries, including those that occur on scaffolding equipment.

Investigations by the agency determined that several factors influence fatal accidents involving scaffolding, including:

  • Workers’ failure to use the proper personal protective equipment to prevent falls
  • Improperly trained workers
  • Defective scaffolding equipment
  • Improperly installed equipment or operations

Making sure that workers and those who supervise them adhere to the safety standards regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the responsibility of all companies. Being strict about compliance not only prevents scaffold workers from risking their lives but keeps companies from getting cited for safety lapses that can result in heavy fines.

NIOSH investigated one scaffold fatality involving a painter on a scaffold inside of a 48-foot water tower. The 39-year-old victim and a coworker were manually raising the scaffold on which they were standing using suspension ropes.

The rope — which had been unknowingly burned earlier — snapped, and the man fell to his death. He was not wearing protective gear to tie off; the co-worker beside him who was, survived.

If you lost a spouse or family member in a construction accident, if their death was due to negligence on behalf of the employer, it might be possible to receive financial compensation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Preventing Worker Injuries and Deaths Caused by Falls From Suspension Scaffolds,” accessed March 09, 2016