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Scaffolding Accidents

San Francisco Scaffolding Accidents Can Cause Injuries, Death

By Kelly Balamuth on June 22, 2012

San Francisco Construction Scaffold FallScaffolding is a common sight at all types of construction sites in San Francisco and throughout northern California, from high-rise buildings to ranch homes. The modular design of most scaffolding makes it easy to transport, set up, and modify to the needs of the particular project.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 2.3 million workers, or 65 percent of all construction workers, use scaffolding regularly. Unfortunately, the same features that make scaffolding useful and convenient also make scaffolding a source of falls and other serious injuries each year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 54 workers lost their lives in falls off scaffolding last year. The majority of these accidents – 47 of the total – took place in construction or manufacturing, the two areas of business most likely to use scaffolding. Forty-one of these 47 deaths involved construction accidents, while the remaining six involved those who worked in manufacturing. The remaining seven deaths occurred in service-providing industries of various kinds.

The CDC estimates that about 4,700 workers are injured by scaffolding falls every year. Even a fall from a moderate height can cause traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, soft tissue damage, and other trauma. In addition to medical bills from these injuries, the CDC estimates that scaffolding injuries cost U.S. workers $90 million each year in lost wages.

At Balamuth Law, our dedicated Northern California scaffolding accident attorneys can help you and your family get the compensation you need after a scaffolding or other workplace accident. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (888) 254-1234.

Preventing Scaffolding Accidents at Northern California Construction Sites

By Kelly Balamuth on April 14, 2011

Scaffolds are an important part of most construction projects. An estimated 2.3 million construction workers work on scaffolds on a regular basis. However, if used improperly, they can result in accidents that cause workers to suffer serious injuries or death. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths occur each year in scaffold-related accidents in the U.S.

Many scaffolding accidents in Northern California are caused by either the support giving way, an employee slipping, or an employee being struck by a falling object. Accidents that occur because the scaffolding supports give way can be prevented by inspecting the scaffold prior to assembly and ensuring the scaffold is installed correctly before it is used by workers. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of construction workers who use scaffolding are not trained in installing, assembling, or inspecting scaffolding, making them at great risk of being involved in a Northern California scaffolding accident. Many accidents that occur when an employee slips, can be prevented by equipping the scaffolds with a guardrail. A study by OSHA found that only 33 percent of scaffolds had a guardrail.

Employers in the construction industry have a duty to their employees and the employees of other contractors to provide a safe work environment and proper training regarding the installation, assembly, and inspection of scaffolding. Construction workers are at a great risk while climbing and working on scaffolding, and those risks increase if they are not aware of the inherent dangers when using scaffolding.

If you have been injured in a scaffolding accident that you believe was caused by a defective scaffold, poor training, or unsafe work practices, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact the Northern California scaffolding accident attorneys at Balamuth Harrington at 1-888-254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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