Construction work frequently involves the use of scaffolding, lifts, hoists and ladders. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about two-thirds of construction employees frequently use scaffolding and other types of lifts. Using this equipment can sometimes lead to serious workplace accidents– and the injuries that result from these accidents can be incredibly serious.
OSHA enforces strict regulations regarding the use of scaffolding in construction sites. Employers are required to comply with these standards to ensure a safe workplace. In addition, scaffolding manufacturers must design and construct each scaffold and its component parts according to OSHA requirements. For example, each scaffold must be able to support its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load. Scaffolding must be inspected by a knowledgeable professional before each work shift and should be supervised whenever it is erected, moved or dismantled. Any type of scaffolding or safety equipment that is damaged should not be used. Scaffolding that does not meet these stringent safety requirements could cause injury to the workers who use it.
Liability in scaffolding accidents
Some scaffolding accidents occur because of preventable oversights such as defective or improperly installed scaffolds. Accidents can also happen if an employer does not use the scaffolding correctly, fails to provide adequate safety equipment or if objects fall from the scaffolds onto unsuspecting workers.
Scaffolding manufacturers have a duty to manufacture equipment that fully complies with all safety standards. If a defect in scaffolding contributes to a workplace injury, the manufacturer may be liable to provide compensation. Employers also have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment that complies with OSHA standards. If an on-site scaffolding accident was caused by unsafe work conditions, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for their damages.