Deadliest Scaffold Collapses in History

When a construction crew needs to work on the interior or exterior of a building, they often erect a scaffolding to help them work on higher stories, ceilings, and roofs. The process is one of the simplest solutions in construction and should provide a stable platform in which to perform their work. However, scaffolding that is poorly designed or assembled can result in collapses, which can severely injure workers on or underneath the scaffolding.

Some of Worst Scaffold Collapses

  • 1978 - Workers constructing a cooling tower in northern West Virginia were using a crane to hoist concrete when it suddenly fell toward the inside of the tower. Fifty-one workers plummeted to their deaths. An investigation found numerous errors including: concrete from the previous day had not yet hardened, key anchor bolts needed to attach the scaffolding were missing, and contractors were on a tight schedule to finish the tower.
  • December 2000 – Twelve stories of scaffolding collapsed onto a road and railway in Cardiff, United Kingdom. The scaffold collapse happened as a result of design defects, unapproved changes in design, lack of anchor ties, improper anchor ties, and failure on the part of the contractor to perform the necessary safety checks.
  • November 2013 - Three people are hurt – including a worker and two pedestrians - when a massive plywood construction wall crashed down near Times Square during a fierce and sudden downpour. The construction company was hit with violations and a stop-work order.
  • January 2014 – Three workers are hurt when they plunged from makeshift scaffolding at a construction project near San Francisco's Twin Peaks that city officials said lacked permits and violated a number of safety codes.
  • February 2014 - Three people are injured and about 100 evacuated after a five story scaffolding collapsed at a building site in the United Kingdom. Inspectors who visited the site two months earlier raised safety concerns about the scaffolding.
  • February 2014 - A harnessed worker dangling from underneath an overpass in Fort Lauderdale had to be rescued after the collapse of large scaffolding that flipped and fell to the ground when a cable snapped. Three other workers were also injured in the collapse.
  • June 2014 - Two workers were injured when scaffolding fell at a hotel construction site in Pittsburgh. The scaffolding fell from three stories up, hitting a parked car.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a scaffold collapse and would like to know your rights, please contact us to speak with an attorney about your case at no cost. At Arnold & Itkin, we work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless we win your case.

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