Scaffold safety receives a lot of attention for a few key reasons. First, you can find scaffolding on most construction sites, particularly those in New York City. Second, scaffold accidents can easily result in serious injury or death.
Last, but certainly not least: Nearly all of these incidents could be prevented if everyone followed safety rules.
A survey of injured workers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics spoke with workers that had been injured in scaffold accidents, asking them, in part, about how the incident occurred. The workers’ responses provide some valuable information.
Nearly three out of every four of those workers (72%) attributed the accident to one of three things:
- The planking or support giving way
- The worker slipping
- A falling object striking them
Nearly all injuries that result from these types of incidents can be controlled, if not outright prevented, if everyone on the site made sure to follow proper safety protocols.
Negligence and scaffold accidents
A fall from a scaffold is serious. It can result in severe, life-changing injuries, including:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord and back damage
- Broken bones
- Large, open wounds
- Joint injuries
These types of wounds can have long-lasting effects. Brain damage can linger, impacting a victim’s functioning for years. An amputation would threaten that person’s livelihood. And of course, there is the financial devastation of expensive medical bills combined with lost wages.
Property owners and contractors have a responsibility to ensure scaffolding is safe for construction workers. In addition, all other contractors or subcontractors on the job must follow safety regulations. If one of these parties failed in their duties, injured victims may be able to hold them accountable and receive financial compensation.