Scaffolding Accidents

Scaffolds are temporary structures built to elevate a construction worker and materials to a height.  Often times scaffolds are used to walk around a structure.  From time to time, they are the only way to move around a jobsite.   

As 65% of construction workers perform some aspect of their job on or from a scaffold, they should at all times be kept secure and clean.  Scaffolding should not be used to store equipment or materials, and must be kept clear of trash, tools and ice.  When the rules are not followed, construction workers at an increased risk for injury due to falls from a scaffold, or because of: 

  • broken scaffolding;
  • scaffolding collapse;
  • scaffolding failure;
  • slippery scaffolding;
  • unstable scaffolding; and
  • loose scaffolding.

Minor scaffolding-related injuries include cuts and bruising due to improper connections and sharp corners.  Severe scaffolding-related injuries include brain injury, amputation, fractures, paralysis, nerve damage and death due to plank failures, falling planks, pipe failures, falling pipes, support failures, falling supports, falling objects and falls to the ground. 

Scaffolds are a necessary part of construction, but they are also dangerous because there are many different ways that they can fail if: 

  • scaffolding is not assembled correctly;
  • scaffolding is not secured correctly;
  • scaffolding is assembled without proper handrails or guards;
  • scaffolding is not properly maintained; and
  • scaffolding is not properly tested.

New York State has special laws, known as “Labor Laws” that protect construction workers from injury or, if injured, that permit construction workers to recover from some or all of the people or companies that caused or contributed to their injury.  The specific provisions of the New York State Labor Law are: 

  • Section 200;
  • Section 240; and
  • Section 241(6).
Section 200 is a general provision that requires jobsite owners and contractors, and their agents, to provide a safe workplace for construction workers and lawful visitors, and imposes liability for injuries sustained at an unsafe workplace.  Section 240 is a specific provision concerning precautions that must be taken to prevent construction site falls, or falls from a height, and liability for fall-related injuries.  Section 241(6) is a specific provision concerning steps that must be taken to ensure compliance with the New York State Industrial Code, and liability for violations of the New York State Industrial Code.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict cases involving construction site and scaffolding accidents.  If you or a loved have been injured while working at a jobsite, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York construction site accident attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.