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Workers can be Seriously Injured in Scaffolding Accidents

Workers can be Seriously Injured in Scaffolding Accidents


According to statistics gathered and published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the primary cause of death and serious injuries [1] to construction workers. OSHA additionally reports that an estimated 65 percent—for a total of about 2.3 million [2]—of U.S. construction workers work on or near scaffolding almost every day as part of their jobs.

Scaffolding is a structure that is intended to be temporary that assists construction workers, contractors, and similar crews in the construction, repair, or cleaning of the higher floors of a building. Scaffolds are often made from a combination of metal poles that support the structure and of wooden planks on which the construction workers can stand to perform their jobs. Because scaffolding often positions workers far from the ground, the risks of falling from the scaffolding are significant. In addition, many scaffolding structures that are not properly constructed can collapse and cause any workers on the structure to fall, as well as crush any workers underneath the scaffolding. Because of the serious dangers of working on or around scaffolding, OSHA sets out strict safety requirements for training, fall protection, construction standards, and more.

Unfortunately, even the strictest of safety standards cannot completely eliminate the risk of scaffolding falls, collapses, and related accidents. However, workers who suffer injuries related to scaffolding accidents on the job have the right to benefits through the Delaware Workers’ Compensation program. [3]

Common causes of scaffolding accidents

Accidents related to scaffolding can occur for many different reasons, some of which include as follows:

  • Manufacturer sold defective scaffolding parts that malfunction
  • Improper construction or installation of the scaffolding structure
  • Failure to secure the scaffolding to the building
  • Inadequate inspection or maintenance of the scaffolding structure over time
  • Not providing necessary training for workers who construct the scaffolding or will be using the scaffolding for their jobs
  • Workers who are properly trained but choose to ignore scaffolding safety and cause accidents
  • Objects that are dropped from higher scaffolding levels that fall onto individuals on lower levels
  • Planks that are not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the workers and equipment
  • Not using proper safety harnesses when necessary
  • Having obstacles on the planks that can lead a worker to trip and fall off the scaffolding
  • Collapse of part or all of the scaffolding structure when there are workers on or below the scaffolding

These accidents can occur in many ways and, no matter how the accident happened, injured workers deserve to receive workers’ compensation benefits so that they can have proper medical and financial assistance while they recover.

Common injuries in scaffolding accidents

While scaffolding accidents can result in many different injuries of varying severity, the following are some common injuries that can result from this type of workplace accident:

  • Spinal cord injuries – When a worker falls, it is common for them to sustain damage to the spinal cord, which can result in temporary or permanent paralysis and requires extensive medical treatment.
  • Traumatic brain injury – It is also common that a worker hits their head in a fall and sustains damage to their brain tissue. TBI can also result if an object falls onto a worker’s head below.
  • Broken bones – Falls often cause one or several bones to fracture, which can require surgery to repair and may seriously limit mobility and the ability to return to work for some time.
  • Internal organ damage – If the fall is from a great height, workers can sustain serious and often life-threatening injury to internal organs and may suffer from internal bleeding.

Contact an experienced Delaware workers compensation attorney for help today

While working on or near scaffolding may be dangerous, it is often a necessity for certain job duties. Any type of worker who sustain injuries in the performance of their job has the legal right to proper workers’ compensation benefits including medical care and treatment, as well as wage replacement and long-term benefits, if their injury qualifies. At the law office of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, our highly skilled workers’ compensation lawyers know how risky certain jobs can be and we are committed to ensuring that all injured workers receive the full amount of benefits they deserve after an accident.

If you have suffered injuries in a scaffolding accident or any other type of workplace accident, please call our office in Delaware at 302-364-6047 as soon as possible for a free consultation.


[1] https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html

[2] https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/construction.html

[3] http://dia.delawareworks.com/workers-comp/

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