New Jersey Falls from Scaffolding
An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Despite the many federal, state, and municipal regulations designed to protect these workers, persistent unsafe practices lead to thousands of preventable construction accidents each year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls on construction sites are the top cause of work-related fatalities. Every year, scaffold-related construction accidents kill approximately 50 U.S. construction workers and injure another 4,500.
Scaffolds are a necessary part of construction, and are often the only way to get around on a work site. The proper construction, assembly, and training of workers are crucial to protect workers from falls. Accidents can be the result of:
- Improper installation of scaffold equipment
- Defective scaffold equipment
- Slippery, cluttered, or unstable walking surfaces
- Scaffold is assembled without proper handrails or guards
- Scaffold is not properly maintained or tested
- Insufficient worker safety training
- Failure to provide or use personal fall protection equipment
Scaffolding that is broken or has sharp edges may cause minor injuries such as cuts and bruises. Falls from scaffolds often involve more severe injuries, resulting in long-term or permanent disability, even death. The consequences of these types of construction accidents to the injured worker and the families can be devastating. The scaffolding injury lawyers of Grungo Colarulo help injured workers and their families recover compensation for fall-related injuries such as:
- Head and neck trauma
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severed limb
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia
In addition to the scaffolding injury itself, construction accident victims can suffer from lost wages and future loss of earning potential. They may have to undergo a number of immediate and future surgeries and rehabilitative services. They may require modifications to their home or car. Spouses may experience loss of consortium and entire families may suffer from the burden of providing at-home care for their loved one.
Construction Accident Liability
Workers injured on the job are entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. This no-fault system is designed to cover injured workers’ medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who or what caused the accident. All New Jersey construction workers are covered under Workers’ Compensation insurance, but the amount of compensation may be limited and can vary by case. It is important to consult an experienced scaffolding injury attorney to assist with claims and ensure the maximum benefits are recovered.
In some situations, construction fall accident victims learn that their injuries could have been prevented if not for the reckless or negligent actions of another. Property owners and general contractors are charged with adhering to federal, state, and local safety regulations. Sadly, many choose to ignore or overlook important safety issues, with sometime-tragic consequences.
In other cases, the responsibility for an accident may lie with a third party such as the engineers, the scaffolding company, the makers or suppliers of tools or safety equipment, or even fellow workers. When negligence results in harm to another, individuals should be held accountable for their actions. By filing a third party liability claim, injured workers may be able to recover additional compensation above and beyond what is offered through Workers’ Compensation.