Category Archives: Construction Accidents

OSHA’s Required Scaffolding Safety Standards

Workers on construction sites are probably the ones most prone to job-related accidents due to the heavy and huge construction tools and equipment around them, as well as the great heights that they need to ascend. In fact, studies show that falls are among the four top causes of injuries in construction sites, the other three being electrocution, caught-in-between equipment and a solid object, and struck by construction equipment or vehicles.

The rapid increase in the number of high-rise constructions all across the US and the need to restore the aesthetic look of many old buildings has also given rise to the number of workers required to work around the exterior of these edifices from great heights, requiring them to work on scaffolds, sometimes daily. In fact an estimated 2.3 million individuals are said to be working on scaffolds every day, bringing danger to many lives.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is in charge of regulating and enforcing safety in the work place, set the standard on scaffold requirements back in 1971. For added safety, there are certain types of scaffolds that OSHA recognizes, which can be used depending on certain factors, like load, materials, and weather condition. These types include pole and specialty, ladder jack, mobile, suspended, tube and coupler, pump jack, and frame.

The types mentioned, however, are still exposed to collapse, especially if they have been incompetently assembled. Improper assembly is actually the most common cause of scaffolding-collapse and accident. It is, therefore, imperative that scaffolds be double-checked for proper assembly and strength before being used.

The scaffolds’ susceptibility to collapse, if coupled with disregard of OSHA’s stipulated safety standards can lead to much greater risks. The additional measures for ensured worker’s safety include scaffold safety training and incorporation of guardrails to which workers can hold onto in cases of slips.

An accidental fall may result to serious injuries that would require long-term rehabilitation and costly medical treatment. To make sure that you get the justice that is due you in case of a fall, make sure that you get represented by a highly skilled and determined lawyer who understands your situation and is determined to fight for your rights.

read more

Causes of Crane Accidents

Crane accidents usually involve fatalities because it is usually heavy and works at height, a deadly combination. Cranes are normally used to lift heavy loads, so the forces that act on it are exacerbated by the sheer weight involved. The use of cranes presents serious safety issues for those working in construction and related industries. A recent accident with a crane in New Jersey resulted in one fatality, an employee of the refrigeration company tasked to move a refrigeration unit from a hospital’s roof. The unit was not properly secured to the crane and fell on the unsuspecting employee.

Those who work with or around cranes know that the risks of an accident are high but when it happens, it can still be horrendously traumatic. This is even truer for those who are innocent victims, such as the man killed in his condo in Bellevue, WA when a crane toppled into it in November 2006. The crane was not even being operated at that time.

Crane accidents are often due to structural or mechanical failures, although the most famous case involving “Big Blue” in 1999 was attributed to high winds. In cases that does not involve acts of nature, the liability for injuries and fatalities are not always clear-cut. Depending on the circumstances and the results of the investigations, a case could go through an entire range of personal injury claims. Since the burden of proof usually lies with the plaintiffs in any personal injury lawsuit, establishing negligence to the satisfaction of the civil courts can be highly complex and frustrating for the uninitiated.

Finding someone to blame is the natural reaction to preventable crane accidents, but what is more important is to make the ones responsible pay for their recklessness or negligence. To do this with any degree of success, one needs to consult with a law firm experienced in pursuing personal injury or wrongful death claims in crane accidents. These law firms will have the right contacts and resources which will make it easier to establish fault.

read more