Scaffolds range from simple platforms supported by blocks to complex geometric-like structures. Many people, for example construction workers (2.3 million) and window washers, use scaffolds in their everyday business. Others of us occasionally rent scaffolds for periodic home maintenance, and most of us at some point pass under scaffolds as we frequent businesses undergoing repairs.
In each of these situations, there is the potential for injury due to defective scaffolding. In fact, there are about 4,500 scaffolding-related injuries every year. Injuries may include abrasions, broken bones, electric shock, paralysis or even death when scaffolds fail.Scafford Accident Statistics
Here are some scaffold injury death statistics for the United States:
2007: 88 occupational scaffold-related deaths
2008: 68 occupational scaffold-related deaths
In other words, too many people are dying on a scaffold.Negligence and Product Liability Claims
The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) propounds guidelines for the use and construction of scaffolds in occupational settings. Employers who assemble pre-fabricated scaffolds must ensure that the scaffolds are properly built and safe.
There are three basic types of scaffolds: Supported scaffolds ( built from the ground up), Suspended scaffolds ( hang from ropes or other means from above), and Aerial lifts (vehicle-mounted devices that raise and lower workers). Most of these injuries result from inadequate planks and supports, slipping and falling objects. Proper scaffolds should eliminate or reduce the possibility of these types of accidents.
Whether defectively assembled, designed or manufactured, scaffolding accidents may result from:
- Lack railings
- Inadequate railings
- Inadequate anchors
- Lack of safety warnings
- Inadequate decks and plating
- Improper fall protection
- Inappropriate scaffold for the intended weight
- Improper ropes and related equipment
- Improper storage
- Improper maintenance
- Welding defects
- Faulty ladders
If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic injury or death call our scaffold accident lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.More on Product Liability Lawsuits