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A Closer Look at Common Scaffolding Accidents in NYC

The Law Office Of Nicholas E. Tzaneteas

The iconic New York skyline is undoubtedly recognized and admired by people throughout the world. While it might look striking to an outsider, those who build these picturesque and immense skyscrapers know that it is no easy feat. Building the Big Apple is dangerous and risky, which is why scaffolding injuries are not uncommon. Even with safety protocols and preventative measures in place, accidents can and do occur. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident, contact your trusted NYC Construction Accident Lawyer immediately. 

What is Scaffolding?

According to Princeton’s University Office of Environmental Health and Safety, scaffolding is any temporary elevated or suspended work surface used to support workers and/or materials, and there are many types of scaffolds, both supported and suspended. They are often constructed from steel or wood and are used to create large buildings of all types. It should come as no surprise that NYC holds strict guidelines for scaffolding. A few of the essential highlights include:

  • New York LAB §240 requires employers to provide scaffolding that can support at least four times the total weight of all workers and equipment that will work at heights.
  • All scaffolding taller than 20 feet from the working surface must also have a securely attached safety rail that runs along the supported platform’s entire length.
  • All construction companies must provide scaffolding and related safety equipment, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to its workers and take reasonable steps to foster a safe work environment. 
  • Safety measures that should be upheld during excavation, construction and demolition. Regular surveying of the worksite is also required to identify risks, such as unsecured materials, unprotected building edges, and other factors that could lead to injury.
  • Employers must provide workers the right to seek damages if their employer or contractor did not provide adequate equipment or training which resulted in an injury or death. 

What Causes Scaffolding Accidents?

A staggering 4,000-5,000 scaffolding accidents occur each year in NYC, primarily resulting from the following:

  • Falls: Improper securing of the scaffold and/or a lack of PPE can result in catastrophic injuries and deadly falls.
  • Falling objects: Slippery surfaces due to inclement weather or items placed on unsteady surfaces can lead to falling objects, and, in turn, severe injuries.
  • Tripping on Scaffolding: It’s easy for construction workers to trip or slide on slippery scaffolding surfaces, especially in inclement weather. 
  • Scaffolding collapse: While uncommon, a total collapse of scaffolding is possible from storms, inadequate building techniques, or when struck by heavy machinery or vehicles. This can cause injury or death to the workers and passerby below.

What Injuries Result from Scaffolding Accidents?

Due to the nature of these accidents, the injuries sustained are often significant. Some of the most common injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Brain and head injuries
  • Lacerations 
  • Crushing injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Damage to internal organs 
  • Death

How Can a Construction Accident Lawyer Help?

After a traumatic scaffolding injury, the last thing you want to do is deal with the inevitable legal hurdles that ensue. Our experienced team will fight for you to earn you the damages you deserve. We will review your situation and determine whether you have a case and if you are eligible for financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Contact the Law Firm of Nicholas Tzaneteas for a free consultation today at (718) 704-5519. Or, fill out our online form here for a no-obligation quote.

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