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New York Personal Injury Lawyers

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Construction Site & Scaffold Accidents Lawyers

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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Scaffold falls can lead to serious injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries

If you, or someone you love, has been injured in a scaffold incident, our construction accident attorneys in New York City will help you stand up for your rights.

Our New York labor laws offer protection for construction workers. If an oversight of safety results in a scaffold fall or any other construction site injury, the construction site owner or general contractor can be held liable for the resulting injuries. Safety precautions that should be taken include:

  • Safety netting
  • Guardrails
  • Harnesses
  • Safely erected scaffolding
  • Properly inspected scaffolding

Different Types of Scaffolding That Could Lead to Scaffold Falls and Injuries

  1. Baker or Rolling Scaffolds

To safely operate rolling or baker scaffolds, workers must:

  • Not ride rolling scaffolds
  • Not attempt to move rolling platforms by pulling on structures or overhead pipes
  • Ensure all equipment and material is removed from the platform or secured before the structure is moved
  • Apply wheel locks or caster brakes when the platform is stationary
  1. Tubular Steel Scaffolding

These scaffolds are far more durable than wooden scaffolding and need to be erected according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. That means that locking of the platform connections and proper seating is mandatory. Other requirements include:

  • Firm footing for each upright
  • If a metal plate is provided, it must be supplemented with planking to support loose material
  • Lumber should be a minimum of two inches thick
  • Footings need to be secured against movement by staking or recessing
  • Uprights must be plumb
  • If a scaffold is less than 75 feet high, the outside diameter of tubing must be at least 2 inches
  • Toe boards should be nailed to platform planks or fastened to uprights with bolts
  • Guard rails should be secured to uprights with connectors
  • Guard rails must have tubing with a minimum of 11/2 inches on the outside diameter
  1. Pole Scaffolds

These are known as heavy trades or light trades. Light trades are typically used by painters, carpenters, and any other trades that don’t use heavy material loads of the scaffolds. Heavy trades refer to stonemasons, bricklayers, steelworkers, and concrete workers.

Independent scaffolds differ from single pole structures. The latter is only supported on one side by uprights with one end of each ledger carried by the building actually under construction. The single pole scaffolds need to be cross-braced in each direction – at right angles to the building face and along the face at the building. This should be done at every third to fourth upright.

  1. Wood Scaffolding

When working with wood scaffolding:

  • All platforms, construction ramps, and scaffolding should be good quality
  • There should not be loose or dead knot, splits, checks, knots in groups or any other defects that decrease the strength of the structure
  • There should be a minimum of four nails per joint
  • All loads should be taken into account, including workmen, the weight of the structure, and building materials
  • Adequate footings like planks should be provided
  • Cross-bracing should be provided for stability
  • Stairs or permanent ladders should be provided
  • Ladders should be secured against overturning or slipping
  • Overhead protection should be made available if overhead work is being performed
  • Guardrails should be provided
  • Handrails should be provided

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929

Scaffolding Has to Be Regularly Inspected to Avoid Injuries and Accidents

Several rules have to be followed in order to maintain any of the above-mentioned scaffolds and keep them in a safe and operable condition. These include:

  • Changes of any kind whatsoever may not be made to a scaffold without prior approval
  • Excess materials may not be stockpiled on a scaffold at any time
  • All platform structures have to be inspected at least on a daily basis by project managers, project engineers or any other person responsible as designated by a job superintendent
  • The scaffold structures have to be protected from trucks and vehicles that risk coming into contact with them
  • Scaffolds have to be cleared of debris every day. Never leave tools on platforms overnight
  • Working platforms on the structures must be free of oil, ice, snow, and other slippery substances before they are used
  • Notices regarding the utilization of the structures should be placed where they can be seen and observed

Have You Suffered a Scaffold Fall or Injury In New York?

If you or a loved one endured a scaffold fall or injury, a Staten Island construction accident lawyer can help. We have successfully handled a range of construction site accident suits and are equipped to help you seek fair compensation for every single loss you suffered.

Our team works tirelessly to prepare every case for trial so that the opposition realize that they need to deal fairly with our clients.

If you or someone you know require assistance seeking compensation for a scaffold incident in New York, contact our personal injury lawyers today. Get in touch online or via (212) 732-2929 to book your free consultation with us.

Call or text (212) 732-2929 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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