Scaffolding Accident Lawyer Explains 3 Types of Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding allows people to work high above the ground and provides greater safety and freedom of motion than ladders. However, scaffolding accident still happen with an alarming regularity. The reason is that scaffold work is done at heights where falls are always possible. Unlike a permanent structure that’s assembled only once, scaffolds are quickly assembled and disassembled repeatedly. This increases the risk of assembly mistakes. Here are three common types of scaffolding accidents:
Partial or Total Structural Failure of Scaffolding
Damaged planking or planking that is not of scaffold grade such as ordinary lumber can fail while a worker is standing on it. Scaffolds erected on unstable footings such as loose bricks or blocks or footings subject to settling or displacement may cause a scaffold to tip over. Missing cross braces and other structural elements weaken the scaffold.
Sometimes non-structural parts of a building which are not meant to support loads such as drain pipes or electrical conduits are used as anchor points. Scaffolds can also fail when overloaded or when hastily assembled, moved, or altered without proper supervision.
Falls from Elevation
Missing guard rails and toe boards that prevent the worker from accidentally falling off the scaffold planking increase the risk of falls. Falls also occur while climbing on or off the scaffold. Workers should climb using three-point contact where three of four limbs are always supported by the ladder. They should never climb while carrying tools or other objects in their hands. Workers should stay off snow or ice-covered scaffolds and avoid scaffold work in high winds or during adverse weather.
Injury by Falling Objects
Tools and other objects can fall and strike people standing on the ground. Even small objects can impact with great force after falling from a great height. Toe boards prevent small objects from sliding off planking while panels and screens will prevent larger objects from falling. All workers should wear hard hats. Barricade use will keep the public away from the area underneath the scaffold.
If you were injured while working on or around scaffolding, don’t automatically assume that it was your fault or the result of bad luck without first talking to an experienced scaffolding accident lawyer. For a legal assessment of your particular situation, contact us at Frekhtman & Associates.