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The dangers of poorly maintained scaffolding

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in New York. Every year, hundreds of occupational deaths happen on construction sites. Scaffolding collapse is one of the leading causes of death and injury for construction workers.

Scaffolding safety in New York

New York law acknowledges the risks connected with construction occupations, and thus it has implemented specific safeguards to assist workers. Section 240 of the New York state labor law, for instance, mandates implementing adequate safety measures to prevent falls and injuries on scaffolding.

Construction companies may face liability for a worker’s injuries if they fail to provide sufficient safety equipment and measures. Even if safety precautions are taken and an accident occurs, the parties responsible may be held accountable. Injured workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation and other forms of compensation.

Reasons for scaffolding accidents

Scaffolding accidents commonly occur due to unsafe scaffold design, inadequate overhead protection and insufficient stabilization or support. Poor scaffolding manufacturing is also a contributing factor, with issues such as defective pulleys, malfunctioning brakes or the absence of guard rails.

When scaffolding is not properly maintained, wood components CAN rot. Wireframes or supports may become bent, damaged or compromised in some other way.

Dangerous scaffolding practices

Scaffolding poses a risk of electrocution, especially when constructed with a metal frame. The danger of electrocution increases in wet conditions caused by snowfall, sleet or rain.

In certain instances, a construction company owner knowingly disregards the requirement for proper scaffolding and opts for makeshift alternatives as a means of cost-cutting. This practice is prohibited by law in New York. If makeshift scaffolding results in injury, the company overseeing the construction site may be held liable.

When properly installed and maintained, scaffolding facilitates the completion of many construction jobs. Construction workers can successfully work on a variety of projects with ease, as scaffolding provides easy access, enables good balance and boosts productivity.