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Ladders and Scaffolding Accidents Cause Thousands of Deaths and Injuries in Construction Injury Each Year

Posted on in Construction Accidents

By Shawn Kasserman

construction negligence, Chicago personal injury lawyersDesigned to provide temporary stability, help to ensure tools and equipment are within reach, and provide greater flexibility when working at great heights, ladders and scaffolding are used by approximately 2.3 million construction workers (65 percent). But these safety devices can also be the very items that cause injury or death when they are not properly used or maintained. Because negligence often plays a big role in ladder and scaffolding injuries, and because the problem amounts to thousands of deaths and injuries each year, it is critical that workers know what protections they have under the law.

Prevalence of Ladder and Scaffolding Injuries Cause for Concern

Estimates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate that ladders and scaffolding cause approximately 4,500 worker injuries and 50 worker deaths each year. The cost to employers for time lost is thought to be around $90 million, but it is the cost to workers that makes the prevalence of ladder and scaffolding injuries so concerning. For them and their families, life may never look the same.

Possible Injuries from Ladders and Scaffolding

Because scaffolding and ladder injuries often involve either persons or objects falling from heights, they carry a great deal of risk to all involved. Injuries can and often are severe and can include:

  • Spinal cord injuries that may result in partial or total paralysis;
  • Limb injuries or amputations;
  • Traumatic brain injuries; and
  • Back injuries that may cause chronic pain.

Causes of Ladder and Scaffolding Injuries

Safety practices and recommendations are designed to help reduce the risk and prevalence of ladder and scaffolding injuries. Unfortunately, failure to follow through with those regulations is often the subject of OSHA violations. Those that frequently contribute to injuries include:

  • Failure to properly train employees on safety protocols;
  • Failure to enforce or teach equipment and tool securing techniques;
  • Aged, poorly maintained, faulty, or broken equipment;
  • Improper assembly that can lead to collapse;
  • Overloading; and
  • Failure in preventing contact with power lines.

These failures are often on the part of the contractor, foreman, or other supervising staff. In those instances, workers and their families may be due compensation to cover their losses. But this area of the law is extremely complex and frequently changes. As such, it is critical that workers obtain skilled and experienced legal counsel to help protect their rights and assist them in their pursuit.

Get the Legal Representation You Deserve

The Chicago construction negligence attorneys of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman have decades of experience in helping workers and their families pursue the compensation they deserve. Committed and dedicated, we provide the tools and resources needed to investigate the nature of construction injuries fully and then fight to ensure negligent parties are held accountable for their actions. Schedule a free initial consultation with our attorneys to find out how we can help with your case. Call 312-605-8800 today.

Sources:

https://www.centerjd.org/sites/default/files/ckfinder/userfiles/files/ILConstrSafetyFinal.pdf

https://www.osha.gov/dte/library/scaffolds/scaffolding/notes.pdf

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