Scaffold accidents can be devastating and occur all to often in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas. If you have been hurt in a scaffold accident, a skilled Alabama scaffold accident attorney at Cross & Smith will work with you to ensure you obtain all the compensation you deserve.
Construction sites present many dangers to workers. One of the most dangerous components of a construction site is scaffolding. Scaffolds are temporary structures built to hold workers and materials during the erection, repair, or decoration of a building. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are many fatal scaffold falls each year. Many other falls not involving fatalities cause severe injuries to workers. Other injuries frequently occur due to scaffold collapses, falling tools and debris, and electrocution injuries related to the proximity of scaffolds to power lines.
Because of the inherent dangers of scaffolds, they are highly regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These include regulations for supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds, and aerial lifts, such as scissor lifts and cherry pickers. Many states have their own additional scaffold regulations. OSHA’s regulations are detailed and provide significant protections for workers – when those regulations are followed. When regulations are not followed, often due to haste, ignorance, or carelessness, the work environment becomes unsafe and injuries are more likely to occur.
Among OSHA’s core requirements are that fall protection must be used when the scaffold exceeds 10 feet in height, that the scaffold support specific load capacities depending upon the type of scaffold, and that walkways are of sufficient width and have minimal gaps. OSHA also prescribes rigorous inspection standards before work is begun every day. Guardrails must be of a specific height and strength, depending upon the scaffold. Other regulations govern ties, base plates, means of access, and methods of use.
The safe design, construction, and maintenance of the scaffold typically are the responsibility of the general contractor, although the property owner may also have responsibility. If you are injured due to the negligent design, construction, or maintenance of the scaffold, and you are not employed by the general contractor, you may potentially bring suit against the general contractor for your injuries. Defects in components of the scaffold or fall protection systems can lead to liability on the part of the manufacturer of those components. In virtually all instances, a worker injured on a scaffold will also be able to obtain workers’ compensation.
Scaffolds are complex systems, and the regulations that govern them can be complicated. If you are injured in a scaffold accident, you should consult with an experienced Alabama scaffold accident attorney. At Cross & Smith, we have represented injured construction workers in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham areas. We understand your options regarding workers’ compensation and pursuing a potential third-party liability case. We know the regulations, and regularly work with experts in the construction field. We will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your claim and advise you on your options. Call our office today for a free consultation at (877) 791-0618.