How Safe is Your Site's Scaffolding?
- Mar 9, 2016
- By: Tom Schimmerling
A ubiquitous sight at most construction sites, scaffolding consists of the temporary metal and wooden structures used to support people and materials when buildings are being constructed or repaired. Also known as staging, scaffolding frequently relies on the adjacent structure for stability or support. Despite the necessity of scaffolding on many construction sites, and its historical use since ancient times, scaffolding remains a major source of worksite injuries across the world.
Don’t hang around here
While the prognosis for most workers involved in scaffolding accidents is not good, two workers in Manhattan were recently saved after dangling from a twelfth floor scaffolding that had become unhinged on one side. In the process of being hoisted up the scaffolding when it became detached, the men were saved by being pulled through building windows to safety. Barring the shock that comes with such an event, these two workers walked away from the terrifying experience without any injuries.
Exception or rule?
The individuals above are unfortunately not representative of most workers involved in scaffolding accidents. Far more typical is the plight of a Midtown construction worker who fell to his death from the scaffolding surrounding New York’s Dream Hotel. Falling 80 feet through an unprotected area, witnesses on the street below and in buildings all around saw the man’s body land on the scaffolding above the hotel’s main entrance. Some of the witnesses who work in the area commented that prior to the accident they wondered if the worksite was safe due to the lack of harnesses and other safety precautions.
Watch your step
Next to roofs, scaffolding is the second most common source of fatal worksite falls, which in and of themselves account for a third of all fatal construction site accidents. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), 72% of scaffold accident victims attributed accidents to support giving way, slipping, or collisions with falling objects, all of which could be controlled via standard compliance with governmental safety regulations.
Those injured in worksite accidents deserve a compassionate workplace fall injury attorney ready to help them take on the challenges their injury may bring.