Year in and year out, on the job worker falls from high places are the number one cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Falls may occur due to faulty equipment, human error, slippery surfaces, safety violations and lack of proper personal protection equipment. In Massachusetts, and many other states another major cause of fatal falls is poorly constructed scaffolding or construction staging. These types of structures are frequently used in construction projects and typically dot the skylines of all major cities at any given time. Tall buildings are covered in scaffolding to allow workers to reach upper levels that are inaccessible by a ladder. When staging is unstable, workers can fall multiple stories, causing serious injuries and death.
Boston Man Injured Last Week in Scaffolding Collapse
In a recent accident, a Boston man fell 50 feet when part of the construction staging he was on collapsed. The incident, which occurred last Thursday, took place at a construction site at 65 Charter Street in the North End. The 42-year-old man, who has not been identified, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment of his injuries. However, it is not yet known if the injuries were serious or life-threatening.
Similar incidents have occurred in Boston and in other major U.S. cities, and the severity of injuries varies greatly. For example, three people were killed in Boston when a 10-ton scaffolding collapsed and fell 13 stories in 2006. In 2011, scaffolding on a building in Harlem collapsed, landing on a bus and injuring 18 people. A year later, three New York City construction workers were left dangling from a 17th story window when staging collapsed in the Upper East Side. And earlier this year, scaffolding collapse accidents in Houston and Raleigh, N.C., resulted in multiple serious injuries and fatalities.
What Causes Staging / Scaffolding to Collapse?
Any type of accident or dangerous condition can lead to a staging / scaffolding collapse, or a fall from this type of structure. However, poorly constructed or inadequately inspected scaffolding is often the cause. Other possible causes of staging and scaffolding collapses include:
Old or weak materials
Scaffolding that is improperly secured
Missing or defective brake
Missing or faulty safety systems
Following safety protocol before using suspended staging and scaffolding is extremely important. Unfortunately, victims of scaffolding collapses are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death than victims of most other work-related accidents.
Who is to Blame When Scaffolding and Constructing Staging Collapses?
Construction workers go to work every day knowing that their jobs are inherently more dangerous than most. However, when proper safety protocol is followed, equipment is well maintained, and employees receive adequate safety training, serious injuries and deaths are dramatically reduced. Although workers’ compensation pays for most work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault, injured workers may be entitled to additional compensation if the injuries resulted from the negligence of an employer, manufacturer, or third party contractor. If, for example, anchors were not properly secured, or faulty materials were used to build the scaffolding, negligence may have played a role in the accident.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Injury Lawyers Serving Boston for Nearly 50 Years
If you have suffered serious injuries due to a scaffolding collapse or any other work-related accident, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our experienced and highly knowledgeable workers’ compensation and personal injury team will help you determine the best legal strategy for your case. These types of lawsuits can be extremely complex, and the help of a skilled attorney is essential to a positive outcome. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. We will make sure you understand your rights and options before moving forward. Call Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.