According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 2 million construction workers use scaffolds in some form. For perspective, that’s roughly 65 percent of the entire construction industry. Given how pervasive scaffolding is, the risk of construction accidents involving scaffolding is high. Catastrophic and fatal injuries can occur, leaving accident victims and surviving members wondering where to turn for help. That’s why attorney Stephen G. Charpentier is here to offer insight and guidance.
The team at the Melbourne, FL office of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. would like to consider the hazards of scaffolding at construction sites. This should give you an understanding of the dangers around work areas and how our law firm can help you.
Statistics on Scaffolding Accidents in Construction
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), scaffolding accidents contribute to 4,500 injuries and 60 fatalities every year. Roughly 15 percent of all construction worker fatalities are related to scaffolding accidents. Nearly three-quarters of these fatalities tend to be linked to the following situations:
- Slips and falls from scaffolding
- Falling objects from scaffolding
- Plank or flooring collapses
- Defective scaffold setup
Let’s consider these issues individually in brief below.
Falls from Scaffolding
Falling from a scaffold can lead to severe head and bodily harm, especially if a person falls from a great height. To prevent these kinds of accidents from occurring, construction workers can wear safety lines or exercise great caution near ledges of the scaffold. In addition, it’s important that floors be clear of moisture and objects that can lead to the loss of footing. It’s also a good idea to avoid working on scaffolding during rain, heavy winds, and other adverse weather conditions.
Objects Dropping from Scaffolding
Workers falling from scaffolding are not the only dangers to consider. Objects that fall from the scaffold can also strike people below, resulting in traumatic brain injuries (TBI), head trauma, and broken bones. Tools, building materials, and other objects can all pose hazards. It’s important that all construction workers wear hard hats to prevent severe injury, and that all items on the scaffold be kept away from ledges and properly secured/flat on floors.
Perhaps the most dangerous kind of scaffolding accident involves the partial or total collapse of the scaffolding. When scaffolding collapses, it can cause workers and objects on the scaffolding to fall. Anyone below the scaffolding may be seriously injured, causing grievous bodily harm. That is why it’s so crucial that scaffolding be set up securely and properly. Taking care when erecting these structures can save lives.
Dangers to Bystanders Near the Construction Site
Keep in mind that construction workers aren’t the only people affected by scaffolding accidents. Bystanders and pedestrians can also be negatively affected by these kinds of accidents. Unlike construction workers, these individuals are not wearing hard hats or any sort of protective gear. Anyone walking through an area with scaffolding that is not blocked off should not have to worry about head injuries or other kinds of harm.
Contact Our Experienced Construction Accident Attorneys
If you would like to learn more about your legal rights following a construction accident, it’s important that you contact an experienced injury accident lawyer. We are here to help. You can reach the Melbourne office of Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. by phone at (866) 615-7868.