The United States Department of Labor is clear on its Occupational Safety and Health Administration website: "Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry." Some New York City families of deceased construction workers know this truth all too well.
OSHA goes on to point out that there are clear rules and simple safety systems in place to help protect workers from fall hazards. Many scaffolding deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.
Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. dedicates itself to helping families who have lost loved ones in scaffolding accidents and to those scaffolding fall injury victims who are forced to deal with pain, medical expenses, extended periods away from work, surgeries and much more after a serious on-the-job mishap.
In some cases, these falls are due to a construction firm's failure to construct a scaffold according to manufacturer instructions, or because the company failed to install guardrail systems.
In other circumstances, the lack of a personal fall system is to blame for a serious construction site injury or fatality. The fall systems can include anchoring, body harnesses, vertical lanyards, webbing and connectors.
The systems are to be rigged so that workers can not freefall from scaffolding. Instead they can not fall more than six feet before their fall is arrested or they have contact with an object or lower level.
Sometimes the systems are in place, but maintenance has been neglected. OSHA tells employers to "inspect systems before each use for wear, damage, and other deterioration, and remove defective components from service." Proper supervision and training are also essential.
If you or a loved one is forced to deal with the aftermath of a scaffolding fall, talk to an experienced New York City construction injury attorney. Please see our scaffolding accidents page for more information.