Almost anyone in California who is working on a construction site is likely to use scaffolding occasionally, but many are on scaffolds every day. Unfortunately, these structures pose a high risk of injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides detailed regulations for scaffolding safety.
Here are the three most common causes of scaffolding injuries and who may be liable in the accident.
One of the primary dangers of working above the ground is falling. OSHA requires workers who are 10 feet or more above the level below to have fall protection. In most cases, this includes both guardrails and a personal fall arrest system, such as a harness. Employers must provide safety equipment and the training workers need in order to use it correctly, or the company could be liable for the damages.
- Scaffold collapse
The National Law Review notes that another common cause of scaffolding injuries is structural failure. Planks or supports may give way if there is a manufacturing defect, or if those who set up the scaffold did not put everything in place correctly. The structure may also collapse if it is not set up on solid, level ground or with the proper supports. The manufacturer of the scaffolding, the engineer who arranged its set-up or those who erect it may be responsible for a scaffolding collapse.
- Falling objects
The scaffolding itself may be the falling object that strikes a worker underneath. However, it is also very common for a careless worker on the level above to knock a tool or power equipment over the side. If the accident is the result of someone’s negligence or reckless disregard for others on the worksite, that person may be liable.