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blog home Construction Accident Scaffolding Can Lead to Serious Construction Accidents

Scaffolding Can Lead to Serious Construction Accidents

By Lependorf & Silverstein on September 28, 2019

On June 5, 2019, four people doing masonry work on a building in Bordertown fell 50 feet to the ground when the scaffolding collapsed. The four construction workers were taken to a hospital to be treated for serious injuries. OSHA was notified of the accident and responded at the scene.

This serious construction accident occurred at 115 Route 130 at 12:25 p.m. The building under construction was the TEAM Campus North building. The injured workers were employed by Ben-Mar Construction of Waterford Works, Camden County.

The general requirements for safe scaffolding in the construction industry rank third in OSHA’s top 10 most frequently violated standards. If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident as a result of another party’s negligence, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced New Jersey work injury attorney as soon as possible. Call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040 to find out if you have a claim for compensation for the injuries you sustained.

OSHA Scaffolding Standards

OSHA reports that falls are the number-one cause of death in the construction industry, accounting for 381 out of 971 construction worker deaths in a recent year. Faulty scaffolding is a leading cause of construction accidents involving falls from heights. OSHA has compiled a very long list of specific requirements for scaffolding assembly and use, to help prevent serious or fatal workplace injuries. For example, the following are a few of OSHA’s many scaffolding standards:

  • Each scaffold and scaffold component must be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the maximum load the scaffold is intended to hold.
  • Suspension ropes, including connecting hardware, used on non-adjustable suspension scaffolds must be capable of supporting, without failure, at least six times the maximum load intended to be applied to or transmitted to that rope.
  • Scaffolds and scaffold components must be inspected for visible defects by a competent person before every work shift and after any occurrence that could affect the structural integrity of the scaffold.
  • The maximum distance from the face for plastering and lathing operations is 18 inches.
  • Each scaffold stairway must be at least 18 inches wide between stair rails.

Failure to comply with these strict scaffolding safety standards is a dangerous practice that can result in serious or fatal accidents.

Who Is Liable for Scaffolding Accident Injuries?

Scaffolding defects are a significant factor in many serious injuries in construction. When scaffolding is constructed with low-quality materials, or installation is not correctly executed, the scaffold can collapse, causing serious injuries or death. Most scaffolds are built for the construction crew by a third party. When injuries occur because of incorrectly installed scaffolding, it is often a third party, not the construction company, who is liable for damages.

Third-Party Claims vs. Workers’ Compensation

Most workers who are injured on the job file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp benefits cover their medical expenses related to the injury and partially compensate them for lost wages.

However, if a scaffold built by a contractor collapses, injuring a worker, the injured worker may seek compensation from the company that installed the scaffolding (third party) rather than his or her employer. Damages you may be able to claim against a third party include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There is potential for substantial compensation with a third-party liability claim.

If you have been seriously hurt as a worker on a New Jersey construction site, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer. Schedule a free consultation with Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., today. We operate on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you.

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The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over twenty years.

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