Construction workers in New York often work in high places. One option to reach these higher spaces is scaffolding. When used properly, scaffolding is a safe option. Ignoring safety protocol can lead to tragedy. Workers and employers can take specific steps to stop these tragedies from occurring.
Injured employees might seek compensation if the cause of the injury was lax safety protocol or similar issues. All construction workers should understand basic information about staying safe on scaffolds to help avoid accidents that can lead to catastrophic injuries.
New York’s Scaffolding Law
New York is one state with a specific law about scaffolding. New York Labor Law Section 240 sets the standard of absolute liability in scaffolding injury cases. The liability extends to the property owner and contractor for injuries on a scaffold or other lifting device. The person’s own negligence might not matter in the case because of the absolute liability notation.
Additionally, even people who aren’t employees can file claims under this law. This leaves the property owner and contractor fairly unprotected, but people who traverse the scaffold have amazing protections. Injured parties can use this law as the basis of a claim for compensation if an injury occurs because of a scaffold.
Minimizing safety concerns
Minimizing safety concerns for workers on scaffolds starts with ensuring the equipment is in good condition. Scaffold inspections must occur during the construction, during the breaking down, and at the start of every shift at a minimum. Anyone who uses the scaffold should know the weight capacity and other limitations of the scaffold to ensure proper usage.
Workers who get onto the scaffolds must wear proper safety gear to protect them if they fall. Harnesses are one of the more common fall protections used on scaffolds. Inspections on fall protection equipment must occur before each use. Remove any frayed or damaged equipment from service.
Care after an accident
Serious injuries can occur when a person falls from a scaffold. The same is true if a component of a scaffold falls and hits someone. People who suffer injuries in these accidents need to seek medical care, even if they don’t feel like they need it. Serious injuries may require long-term medical care. Learning about the methods for seeking compensation to cover medical bills, missed wages and other damages is a priority for these injured parties. Defendants in these cases range from the contracting company to the property owner to the scaffolding manufacturer.