Construction workers have to deal with many hazards on a daily basis. Many of these are unavoidable, but it’s imperative that their employers take the time to ensure that all their employees have a safe working environment. One particular hazard that’s present is scaffolding. While this serves an important purpose, it’s a primary safety consideration.
Scaffolds must be properly erected and maintained. Workers who are on or around any scaffolding that fails are at risk of suffering serious injuries. These can include catastrophic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, lost limbs and death.
Proper safety protocol must be followed around a scaffold
A qualified and competent worker must inspect the scaffold before it’s used. The scaffold must be placed on a solid surface and erected by a person who knows how to handle the task. There must be toeboards, guardrails, and midrails on the structure.
Any components of the scaffold that are weak or damaged must be replaced. The entire scaffold should be put out of service until this is done. A scaffold must also remain at least 10 feet from any power lines at all times.
New York’s Scaffold Law gives workers extra protections
Anyone who suffers a scaffold injury may file a claim under New York’s Labor Law Section 240. This is also known as the “Scaffold Law” and sets an absolute liability standard on contractors and owners of a worksite for injuries related to scaffolding. This is designed both to give construction workers more protection on the job and to put the liability for any serious injuries back on those in the best position to prevent them.
If you or your loved one suffered serious injuries due to faulty scaffolding, take immediate steps to protect your rights and your family’s future. An experienced advocate can help you understand what to do next.