Anyone who lives or works in New York City is accustomed to seeing construction sites. With so many building projects always happening in the city, scaffolding is a pretty common sight in Manhattan and the other boroughs. Scaffolding is major part of just about any construction site.
Construction workers put their safety–and lives–at risk each time they’re on a scaffold. If scaffolding frames are in poor condition or wood used for scaffolding can’t support their loads, workers get put in danger. However, falls are the top danger related to scaffolding use. Falls from scaffolding is the leading cause of death in construction site accidents. No matter how a scaffolding-related injury happened, there is one common thread: these accidents cause serious injuries.
Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents
- Improper scaffolding construction: this is the most important part of keeping construction workers safe. Scaffoldings must have hand rails and guide rails on its open sides and ends. Changes in the ground level should be taken into consideration when erecting scaffolding.
- Scaffolding not inspected: workers should not step onto scaffolding without being sure it’s been inspected by someone trained in working with scaffolding. An inspection can help workers steer clear of scaffolding that can’t support their weight, slippery surfaces, or debris they can trip over.
- Falling objects: tools and equipment get dropped on construction sites. Items dropped from heights on scaffolding can be dangerous and even lethal to people below. Hardhats offer some protection, but can’t prevent all injuries caused by heavy construction objects falling on a person.
New York Scaffolding Law
New York Labor Law Section 240 tries to combat the dangers of scaffolding use on construction sites. The law makes contractors, building owners, and other parties involved in construction legally responsible for providing necessary safety equipment to avoid falls from scaffolding. The law makes it possible for workers injured in scaffolding falls to bring civil actions against the contractor or building owner who were liable for the fall. The law also allows family members of construction workers who died in scaffolding falls to pursue wrongful death claims against contractors or building owners.
Contact an Experienced New York Attorney
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP has guided many injured construction workers and their families to settlements after a scaffolding fall. Contact us today at (212) 986- 7353.