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Scaffolding Accident Highlights Dangers of Construction Work

February 5, 2023 | Personal Injury,Workers' Compensation,Workplace Safety

Scaffolding Accident Highlights Dangers of Construction WorkConstruction work is very risky, even when all proper safety protocols are in place and workers use appropriate safety gear. When you consider that many work sites have limited safety gear, lax safety protocols, and undertrained workers, it’s obvious that the actual risk of injury is significantly higher.

This is clear when you look at news reports of tragic construction accidents. A recent scaffolding collapse in North Carolina captured headlines across the state, especially as the sad details continued to unfold.

When you suffer a construction injury at work, you deserve fair compensation. This may range from partial wages while you’re recovering and full medical expense coverage to permanent disability payments or death payments to surviving family members. If you’ve been mistreated as a result of a workplace injury, let the team at Pisegna & Zimmerman help. We are ready to meet online via Zoom and sign documents over DocuSign, so you don’t even have to leave home. Just call us at 818-888-8888 to set up a consultation immediately.

What Happened?  CNN reports that a construction site in Charlotte, North Carolina was flooded with emergency services personnel when scaffolding collapsed in January of 2023. The accident occurred in the 700 block of East Morehead Street, and reports indicate that three construction workers died after falling 70 feet. Two other workers were injured but are recovering.

While details are still continuing to reach the news, no major findings have yet been announced. OSHA is assisting with the ongoing investigation, but experts indicate it could be weeks or months before they find out why the scaffolding collapsed.

Why Scaffolding Work is So Dangerous

 We’ve talked before about how risky scaffolding work is. Workers may be struck by times falling from scaffolding, slip and fall from scaffolding, or suffer injuries when scaffolding collapses—as is the case in the Charlotte accident. Reported injuries range from broken bones and cuts to traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and death.

A number of factors can increase the risk of accidents, including damaged scaffolding, inexperienced workers, insufficient safety protocols, limited training regarding safety protocols, and limited availability of safety gear.

Whenever you have people working that high above the ground, the risk of injury is present. However, injuries are more common and more severe on scaffolding. It’s crucial that employees know this risk, be aware of it every single time they work, and follow required safety protocols and procedures every time they step foot on the work site.

How Employers Can Protect Employees

Employees have a right to a safe and well-maintained workplace. Employers don’t always provide that, which is why organizations like OSHA are so important. For employers who care about their employees’ safety and want to decrease the likelihood of serious accidents, there are several things they can do to make work sites safer:

  • Insist on rigorous training. Getting someone onto the work site faster isn’t the goal. Getting them onto the work site where they can safely contribute should be the goal. This may mean extending training periods and ramping up training protocols.
  • Ensure that tested and up-to-date safety gear is always available. Safety gear is a must, especially on construction work sites. These are notoriously dangerous work zones, and employees deserve to have every safety tool possible available to them.
  • Meet or exceed all maintenance and inspection requirements. Equipment must be properly inspected and maintained before employees are allowed to use it. This must be prioritized, even if it sets projects back or affects timelines in other ways.
  • Verify that strict safety protocols are being met every day—no exceptions. Even if safety protocols are enforced at the beginning of a project, it’s easy for employees to get relaxed and start cutting corners. Employees should be as rigorous about safety protocols on the first day of a project as they are on the last day.

What to Do After a Scaffolding Accident

 Report the accident immediately to your supervisor and seek treatment. From there, it’s time to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney with experience in construction injuries.

Reach Out Now—Let’s Talk About Your Legal Options

 At Pisegna & Zimmerman, we are passionate about helping injured workers defend their rights and get the compensation they are owed. Find out how we can help you now. Just call us at 818-888-8888 or reach out online. We can schedule your consultation online, allowing you to meet with us remotely while you recover.