If you work in an urban center, chances are that every day you walk below scaffolding without giving any thought to the construction happening overhead. Perhaps you should, because as lawyers that deal with construction accidents will tell you, there is always a potential for problems. In fact, scaffolding is the single most frequently cited construction safety standard by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and is oftentimes to blame for injuries that require the attention of construction accident lawyers.
New high-rise construction is commonplace in Chicago and other downtown urban centers. The aging of our national urban infrastructure demands constant attention and rehabilitation to maintain its structural and aesthetic integrity. Both of these factors require the use of one of the types of scaffolding recognized by OSHA, which include: Suspended, Frame, Mobile, Pump Jack, Ladder Jack, Tube and Coupler, Pole and Specialty. While all of these scaffolding systems are specialized for specific tasks depending on load, weather conditions, materials, etc., they are each vulnerable to collapse in the event of component failure and could come under fire from construction accident lawyers. Workers falling from the scaffolding or scaffold collapse are even more common in the event it was incompetently assembled. Incompetent assembly is a common cause of a scaffold accident. When these events take place, the accidents need to be addressed by construction injury lawyers who can develop a thorough case.
It is estimated that 65 percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds frequently. That puts the number of people who are vulnerable to scaffold collapse beyond 2.3 million. Given the potential exposure of so many innocent people, it is imperative that responsible practices in scaffold erection, scaffold maintenance and scaffold inspection are employed on the thousands of jobsites across the country. With their experience in handling construction accidents, lawyers understand that negligence in any of these areas puts not only the construction workers in extreme danger for death or serious injury, but it also endangers all of the innocent people walking on the streets below. Periodic scaffold inspection varies depending on the type and usage of the particular scaffolding system being employed. Qualification for those responsible for the erection and inspection of the scaffolding is unique to the local jurisdiction, but OSHA has set out standards that must be observed by all scaffold firms. The lawyers that represent construction injury clients are familiar with these standards and the implications of their neglect.
Ignoring Existing Standards Results in Unnecessary Harm
- OSHA, the federal administration tasked with regulating and enforcing work-place safety, saw its beginning in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA has had a scaffold standard in place since 1971.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 91 people died in falls from scaffolding in 2006.
- A Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study found that 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed it to either (1) the planking or support giving way (2) the employee slipping or (3) being struck by a falling object. Following OSHA standards can reduce or eliminate all of these accidents.
- When OSHA revised its Scaffolds standard in 1996, Bureau of Labor Statistics studies showed that 25 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents had received no scaffold safety training, and 77 percent of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails.
Clifford Law Offices Has Experienced Construction Scaffolding Accident Lawyers
Clifford Law Offices has been representing the victims of structural collapses and unsafe premises for decades. The combined experience of the attorneys adds up to hundreds of years of wrongful death and personal injury work. Clifford Law Offices’ construction injury lawyers will examine the cause of the collapse. It can be an issue of faulty design or construction, improper maintenance, or inadequate or negligent inspection. The firm will also examine the victims’ losses that include medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, future medical care, pain and suffering, grief, sorrow and mental suffering, loss of quality of life and other possible damage claims.
The lawyers at Clifford Law Offices have represented many people who have been the victims of a construction accident or unsafe premises. For instance, Robert Clifford obtained a $70 million settlement on behalf of the families of victims who were killed or those who were injured when scaffolding on the John Hancock Center collapsed on their car. Moreover, Michael Krzak obtained $1.8 million for a construction worker who fell off of an unguarded bridge. The worker fractured his hip and vertebrae. The construction lawyers also represented several people who were injured or killed when a porch collapsed at a Chicago building.
All of these involved tragic errors and all of them required an experienced scaffold construction accident lawyer. Engineers, structural experts and inspectors must be held accountable for their negligent actions. Clifford Law Offices represented the families of those who were injured or killed in scaffolding collapse and other structural accidents, and got the answers these families deserved. Please call Clifford Law Offices, experienced scaffolding collapse attorneys and unsafe premises attorneys, at 312-899-9090.
Construction accident attorneys and lawyers with Clifford Law Offices are experienced in representing victims of major scaffolding failures and structural disasters.