Workers should not downplay the importance of scaffolding safety. Many of the injuries that workers suffer at the workplace are from falls. Unsafe scaffolding can be a big contributor to falls at the workplace. Scaffolding injuries can be unique in that the injured worker may not only have a workers’ compensation claim against the workers’ compensation carrier of the their employer, but if the scaffolding was set up and maintained by a general contractor, there might be a third party claim against them. At Cardinal Law Partners, we have years of experience working with workers’ compensation claimants to ensure they get proper medical treatment they deserve as a result of their scaffolding injury.
What is Scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a temporary structure outside of a building that is used to help repair, build, and clean a large structure or building. Frequently, the scaffolding consists of metal poles and wooden planks. OSHA requires many safety measures to be taken when using scaffolding.
What are the Keys of Scaffolding Safety?
- Training – As noted earlier, scaffolding structures are temporary. Temporary structures obviously do not have the same sturdiness that permanent structures have. Workers that erect the scaffolding need to be trained on how to make the structures as rigid as possible. Workers that perform their jobs on the scaffolding also need to be training on how to do their jobs safely.
- Inspection – As the scaffolding is used, there may be changes in the structure. It is important that competent workers inspect the scaffolding to ensure that its structural integrity is maintained.
- Be Aware of Workers Above and Below – Workers on scaffolding will inevitable be up in the air. It is important for the safety of those people working above you to know you are there. If there are workers below you, it is crucial that every safety measure is taken to make sure nothing falls on them.
- Don’t Overload the Scaffolding – The temporary nature of scaffolding means that the amount of weight they can hold will be limited. Items should not be placed so that workers are prone to trip, and the weight of construction materials should be below the loads that the scaffolding is capable of holding.
When Scaffolding Third Party Claims Arise
General contractors are usually responsible for the safety of the entire worksite. If the general contractor erects scaffolding and maintains its fitness for use for all of its workers and for the workers of the subcontractors, an injured worker that is employed by a subcontractor may have a negligence claim against the general contractor. For this reason, Cardinal Law Partners recommends that all scaffolding injuries be investigated to determine whether there is liability with a general contractor in addition to the employer responsible for the workers’ compensation claim.
How Cardinal Law Partners Can Help
At Cardinal Law Partners, our lawyers are always ready to represent employees in any type of scaffolding injury case. Their attorneys have over 50 years of collective legal experience. Scaffolding injuries happen and it is important to have a board certified workers’ compensation attorney investigate the claim for maximum recovery. Call today for an appointment or a case review.