Houston, TX Scaffolding Accidents
Scaffolding is a common sight in the construction industry. Scaffolding is a support system, much like a ladder, that allows workers to reach greater heights for the repair or construction of large buildings. Basically, the scaffolding is made up of a network of metal pipes with platforms for the workers to stand on while they are working. There are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards in place to regulate scaffolding so that it is safe, yet falls from scaffolding is still one of the leading causes of injury and death in the construction industry today.
Statistics indicate that about 10,000 accidents each year involve scaffolding. Despite regulations, why do these accidents continue to occur? Scaffolding can be assembled improperly, for one. Workers that construct the scaffolding in haste risk making costly mistakes. Scaffolding should also be inspected before use, but failure to inspect thoroughly or inspect at all can also result in accidents. Many scaffolds do not even comply with OSHA standards at all. This is an example of a blatant safety violation and it could warrant a company serious citations.
Employers must provide their employees with fall protection equipment. According to the OSHA, fall protection must be provided anytime a worker is expected to work at a height of four feet or greater in regular work environments. Standards differ in certain industries. For example, shipyard workers must be equipped with fall protection at heights of five feet or greater and construction workers must be equipped with fall protection at six feet or higher. Employers are also required to provide floor guards in cases where there are holes in the floor. Floor guards are called "toe-boards" or simply "floor hole covers" in the construction industry.
Platforms that are open-sided must have guard rails in order to decrease the risk of scaffolding falls as well. The basic mission of the OSHA is to implement regulations for the purpose of keeping workers safe at work. They do this by requiring employers to provide safe working conditions as far as it depends on them. When employers do not abide by these standards, they are willfully disregarding the safety of their employees, and can consequently be held liable in the event that one of their employees falls from scaffolding. Employer negligence is one of the leading causes of industrial workplace accidents. To view a complete list of OSHA fall protection standards, click the link.
Loose decking is a common cause of accidents in construction. Although the OSHA requires construction sites to be equipped with secure decking on scaffolding, many workers frequently operate on scaffolding without decking or with decking that has not been properly installed. Decking is required in order to ensure secure footing, so that a worker does not lose their balance and fall. In the event that a worker does fall, they should be wearing a fall harness. Fall harnesses are only required in certain situations, so be sure to check about the necessity of this protective gear.
Injured? Contact Arnold & Itkin LLP Today.
If you were injured while working at a construction jobsite or in a related field, then please consider contacting the workplace injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP. Our firm has a history of representing numerous types of workers that are injured by employer or third party negligence. We are passionate about securing worker's rights and benefits after accidents leading to serious injury or death. To learn more about procuring representation, please contact our firm!