Falls are the leading cause of death and injuries in the construction industry and unsafe scaffolding is one of the major contributors to this statistic. As a result, there are a significant amount of lawsuits that take place by construction workers and their families seeking compensation for work related injuries and death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is often cited as the definitive source on how to build, maintain and use scaffolds. Violations of these standards are often used as evidence in cases involving scaffold injuries and deaths. From their compilation of safety data, OSHA has identified the most common violations regarding scaffolds.
- Scaffolds should support at least four times the weight anticipated to be on the platform
- All scaffold planks should overlap by a minimum of 12 inches
- Planks should extend 6 to 18 inches beyond end supports
- If overhead work is taking place, then overhead protection should be provided
- Tools and debris that accumulate on a scaffold create a safety hazard
- Scaffolds should not be supported by barrels or other loose objects.
As it is with other types of construction accidents, affixing liability to a particular defendant, particularly on a large construction project, is not always an easy matter. An experienced scaffold accident attorney in New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield or other nearby communities can help workers navigate New Jersey laws regulating scaffold safety. The lawyer will also be able to explore whether or not OSHA rules have been breached, which can lead to a damage settlement to help recoup lost wages and medical expenses, and also help secure compensation for loss of life, loss of a quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq is a full service New Jersey law firm with offices in Elizabeth, Freehold, Hackensack, Newark, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Plainfield and Trenton.