Scaffolding is used in a range of occupations. Construction crews erect scaffolds to facilitate plastering and other jobs high in the air. Painters and window cleaners use them to allow access to the outsides of buildings that otherwise would be impossible to work on. As useful as scaffolds are, however, when they collapse, severe injury, and frequently death, is the result. Then one’s only recourse may be to hire a New York scaffold collapse lawyer.
Regulations require strict adherence to specific procedures and materials in securing scaffolds in place. However, these rules are not always followed, either through negligence or a rush to finish the job. Anchoring or ropes that are incorrectly fastened may come loose. Planks may shift or become unstable. Strong winds may rock the scaffold until it breaks away from its stays.
Who Is at Risk?
When a scaffold falls, not only does the individual upon it face injury, but those down below do as well. A scaffold collapsing from a high rise onto a crowded sidewalk will almost certainly cause passersby to be hurt, or even killed. Moreover, if the collapse itself were not likely enough to lead to injury, the scaffold may fall onto construction equipment, a car driving past, or the pole holding a street sign.
The more common injuries which result from collapsing scaffolds are those which involve legs and feet, body trauma, spinal damage, crushed organs, and trauma to the head and brain. A victim can well find himself with permanent severe mental impairment or paralysis. That, of course, assumes he survives at all.
Much could be done to alleviate many of the injuries from scaffold collapses. Needless to say, the primary focus should be on preventing them in the first place. Employers are required by law to provide safety training to their workers. Many of them do not, whether out of lack of concern for worker welfare or desire simply to move ahead and get the job done. The difference between a well-trained crew that is encouraged to follow safe procedures and one that has received little guidance can quite literally be a matter of life and death.
New York Labor Code 240 codifies liability issues in fall injury cases. Generally the individual in charge – a contractor, the building manager, or the owner – is considered ultimately responsible to ensure that workers follow safe procedures when erecting and working on scaffolding. Of course, it is important for anyone involved with scaffolding to be careful. When an injury does occur, the victim would do well to call a New York scaffold collapse lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York personal injury accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5486) for a free and comprehensive consultation. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.