Kentucky Lawyers Represent Your Best Interests after a Scaffolding Fall
Defective or improperly installed scaffolding can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries
Non-employee visitors to construction sites, such as subcontractors and inspectors, must often climb scaffolding in the course of their work. Improperly erected, unsecured scaffolds that lack proper footings or attachments to structures, which have defective frames or planks, or are disproportionate in their ratios of base to height, put those visitors lives at risk.
If you have been injured, or a loved one injured or killed in a negligently-caused construction scaffold accident, trust the Kentucky construction accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law to help you and your family obtain proper compensation for your losses.
Falls from scaffolds: the statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2014 there were 4,679 workplace fatalities, and that the construction industry accounted for 874 of them (18.7 percent), leading all other segments of industry in America. A study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2013 falls were the leading cause of death in construction, based on 291 fatalities out of a total of 828 (35.1 percent). Their report added that those deaths were preventable.
A 2014 OSHA report stated that an estimated 2.3 million construction workers, 65 percent of all workers throughout the entire construction industry, work on scaffolds, and that protecting them from scaffold-related accidents could prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and 40 to 60 deaths that occur each year, and save employers some $90 million from lost workdays.
In that same report OSHA cited a BLS statement that 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident to:
- The planking or support giving way,
- The employee slipping, or
- The employee being struck by a falling object
What are some risks of using scaffolds?
The greatest risk of using any scaffold is that of falling from it. Falls, and the often-fatal blunt force trauma that accompanies them, occur when a scaffold is:
- Improperly assembled. It sways under load, and causes those on it to lose their balance
- Structurally defective. In danger of collapse due to manufacturing error or poor maintenance
- Improperly secured. Unattached to the structure on which it is being used, and pulls away from it
- Not level at its base. Uneven forces on its structure cause it to warp
- Fitted with worn or defective planks. Planks may break under workers’ weight, causing them to plunge through the open spaces
- Not fitted with fall preventers. These protect workers from stepping off backward
- Improperly proportioned. Unless erected proportionally a scaffold can lack physical stability. OSHA has established safe proportions: a scaffold’s height should not exceed four times its base.
What recourse do you or your family have if you are injured or killed in a scaffold accident?
Non-employees, such as independent contractors, machine service technicians, and inspectors, are not barred by workers’ compensation law from suing the companies on whose construction sites they are injured. They may also receive workers’ compensation benefits through their own employers’ or their own insurance plans. However, further actions for negligence may be brought against a lessor or seller of scaffolding if it can be shown that they knew, or should have known, that the scaffolding was defective. And, if an inherent defect in the equipment was known, or should have been known by its manufacturer, a product liability suit may also be possible.
Besides the causes of action listed above, Kentucky has survival and wrongful death statutes that allows a decedent’s family to bring actions on his or her behalf., As is the practice with Kentucky civil actions for negligent injury, if the victim’s own conduct played a role in the accident the “shared negligence” doctrine would apply, and any insurance benefits or other related awards could be reduced accordingly.
How can one of Crandall & Pera Law’s Kentucky construction accident attorneys help?
Your construction accident case is important to us. The attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law have experience protecting the interests of people injured or killed in scaffold accidents on construction sites. Please call us at 877-686-8879, or fill out our contact form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a Kentucky construction accident lawyer. We have offices conveniently located in Lexington and Louisville.