Falls from Ladders and Scaffolding
Construction workers and site visitors face occupational hazards every day due to the nature of the work site. And while there are many federal, state, and municipal regulations designed to protect construction workers, thousands of construction accidents happen every year as a result of unsafe practices. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction site falls are among the most dangerous workplace accidents, and one of the main causes of work-related fatalities.
When working on a construction site, scaffolding provides the workers with a way to get from one area of the work site to another, particularly if the structure is a building with multiple floors. In short, scaffolds are crucial to the construction of the building and employees who are working there. But in order to maintain a safe environment for the workers, it is imperative that all employees are trained on the proper construction and assembly of scaffolds and how to maneuver from one scaffold to another safely. Serious, sometimes fatal accidents can occur as a result of the following:
- Defective scaffold equipment
- Failure to provide or use personal fall protection equipment
- Improper installation of scaffolding equipment
- Insufficient worker safety training
- Scaffold is not properly maintained or tested
- Scaffolding that does not have the proper handrails or guards
- Unsafe walking surfaces
Falls are one of the leading causes of death in construction, and falls from ladders account for almost one third of those deaths. In most cases, these deaths could have been prevented, and many lives could have been saved, if proper safety precautions were followed.
If you must use a ladder, it is important that you use the right ladder for the job. Always keep these important recommendations in mind when using a ladder:
- Choose a ladder that allows you to reach the desired height without having to stand on the top rung.
- Make sure that the base of the ladder is properly secured, and that it is on stable, level ground.
- Be sure that the ladder is fully extended before use.
- Never work from the top rung of a ladder.
- Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times. For example, keep one foot and two hands in contact with the ladder.
- Do not lean away from the ladder when performing a task. Keep weight centered between side rails.
Injuries from Construction Site Falls
When a fall from scaffolding or a ladder occurs, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. Victims can suffer from lost wages due to the inability to continue to carry out their job responsibilities. They may also face high medical bills from numerous surgeries, rehabilitative services or long-term care facilities. The financial and emotional stress can take its toll on the worker and his or her family when facing the repercussions of a serious- life-altering injury.
Injuries from scaffold or ladder falls can include:
- Back injuries
- Head and neck trauma
- Internal injuries
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Severed limbs
- Traumatic brain injury
Workers who have been injured from a construction site fall may be entitled to financial compensation to cover lost wages or the loss of earning potential. In addition, damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium may also be available. If a third party is responsible in any way, you may file suit against that individual. If a third party does not comply with OSHA codes and fall protection standards, or provide proper protection systems and equipment, they may face liability if a construction site fall results in a serious injury.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of Construction Site Falls
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a construction site fall, Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law will work hard on your behalf to secure the optimal financial compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations for clients in our Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey offices. Call us today at 215-426-4493 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Southeast Pennsylvania and South Jersey including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantis County, Salem County, Gloucester County and Cumberland County.