Scaffolding Accidents

Queens Scaffolding Accident Lawyers

Injured in a Scaffolding Accident in Queens, NY?

Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and materials during construction, repair, or demolition of buildings, bridges, or other structures. It is inherently dangerous since it is not designed to support the weight of people or materials for long periods of time. Incidents involving scaffolding often result in serious injuries and even wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, you should seek legal guidance from an experienced Queens scaffolding accident lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP. We can help you prove that the liable parties are liable for your injuries and should be held accountable. We can also help you recover the compensation you are owed.

Call (646) 692-0204 or contact us online to request a free case review.

What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding refers to a temporary structure that is erected to provide support, access, and a safe working platform for construction workers during the construction, repair, or maintenance of buildings and other structures. It plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of construction projects.

Here are some key aspects of scaffolding in the construction industry:

  • Support: Scaffolding serves as a supporting structure for construction workers, allowing them to access various parts of a building or structure that are otherwise difficult to reach. It is used to support workers, equipment, and materials.
  • Access: Scaffolds provide safe and convenient access to different levels of a building under construction. This access is essential for tasks such as bricklaying, plastering, painting, electrical work, and more.
  • Safety: Safety is a paramount concern in the construction industry. Scaffolding is designed to provide a secure platform for workers, reducing the risk of accidents and falls. Guardrails, toe boards, and other safety features are incorporated into scaffold design.
  • Versatility: Scaffolding can be customized and adapted to suit the specific requirements of a construction project. Different types of scaffolding systems are available, including frame scaffolding, tube and coupler scaffolding, system scaffolding, and more. The choice of scaffolding depends on factors like project scope, budget, and site conditions.
  • Temporary: Scaffolding is a temporary structure, meaning it is assembled and disassembled as needed. Once the construction project is complete, the scaffolding is removed.
  • Regulations: Scaffolding must meet strict safety regulations and standards to ensure the well-being of workers. Inspections and maintenance are also required to ensure the scaffolding remains safe throughout the construction project.
  • Materials: Scaffolding can be constructed from various materials, including steel, aluminum, wood, and sometimes even bamboo, depending on the requirements of the project and the local construction practices.
  • Erection and Dismantling: Scaffolding should be erected and dismantled by trained professionals to ensure it is safe and stable. It involves a systematic process, starting with a base structure and gradually adding components as needed.

Here are some common scaffolding components:

  • Standards (Uprights): Vertical pipes or tubes that provide the main vertical support for the scaffolding structure. They are often placed at regular intervals and serve as the framework's vertical "skeleton."
  • Ledgers (Horizontal Tubes): Horizontal pipes or tubes that connect between the standards. They help in distributing the load and provide stability to the scaffolding structure.
  • Transoms: Transoms are placed horizontally and provide additional support for the working platform. They connect between ledgers and can be positioned diagonally for added strength.
  • Diagonal Braces: These are used to add stability to the scaffolding structure. Diagonal braces connect between standards and ledgers or transoms to prevent lateral movement.
  • Brackets: Brackets are used to support the platforms, especially in systems like cantilever scaffolding. They are attached to the standards and provide a surface for the working platforms.
  • Base Plates: Base plates are used at the bottom of each standard to distribute the load and provide a stable foundation. They help prevent the standards from sinking into soft ground.
  • Scaffold Boards (Planks): These are wooden or metal boards that form the working platform for construction workers, tools, and materials. They are laid across the ledgers and transoms.
  • Guardrails: Guardrails, which include top rails and midrails, are used to prevent workers from falling off the scaffolding platform. They provide crucial safety features.
  • Toe Boards: Toe boards are placed along the edges of the working platform to prevent tools or materials from falling off and to protect workers from tripping.
  • Couplers (Clamps): Couplers are used to connect and secure scaffolding components like standards, ledgers, and transoms. There are various types of couplers, including swivel couplers and right-angle couplers.
  • Ties and Anchors: Ties and anchors are used to secure the scaffolding structure to the building or structure being worked on. They provide stability and prevent the scaffold from swaying or collapsing.
  • Ladders or Stairs: These are used to access the various levels of the scaffolding structure. They can be attached to the standards or incorporated into the scaffold design.
  • Hoists and Pulleys: For scaffolding systems that require materials to be lifted, hoists and pulleys are used to raise and lower equipment, tools, and materials to different levels of the scaffolding.
  • Safety Netting and Debris Netting: These are used to catch falling objects and debris, enhancing safety on the construction site.
  • Access Gates and Hatches: Gates and hatches are used to enter and exit the scaffolding platform, providing controlled access.
  • Counterweights: Counterweights, such as concrete blocks, are used in certain scaffolding systems to balance the load and maintain stability, especially in systems like suspended scaffolding.

Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

A scaffolding accident in the construction industry refers to any unplanned or unexpected incident that results in harm, damage, injury, or death related to the use of scaffolding. Scaffolding accidents can have serious consequences, including injuries to construction workers, damage to property, project delays, and in some cases, fatalities.

Common causes of scaffolding accidents include:

  • Collapse or Overturning of ScaffoldingOverloading the scaffold beyond its weight-bearing capacity, unstable or poorly constructed scaffolding, or inadequate anchoring to the building can lead to scaffold collapse or tipping.
  • Falls from Scaffolding Workers may fall from scaffolding due to inadequate fall protection measures, lack of guardrails, improper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), slippery surfaces, or human error.
  • Struck-By AccidentsTools, materials, or debris falling from the scaffold can strike workers below, causing injuries. This can result from improper storage of materials on the scaffold or lack of protective netting or barricades.
  • Electrocution: Scaffolds can come into contact with overhead power lines, leading to electrocution. Failure to identify and avoid electrical hazards is a common cause.
  • Entanglement and Caught-In-Between AccidentsWorkers' clothing or body parts can get caught in scaffolding components, machinery, or tools, leading to injuries. Poorly designed scaffold access points can contribute to these incidents.
  • Inadequate Inspection and Maintenance Scaffolding that is not regularly inspected for defects, wear and tear, or damage can become unsafe. Neglecting maintenance and repairs is a key factor.
  • Inadequate Training and Supervision Workers who are not properly trained in scaffold use and safety, or a lack of supervision, may not follow best practices, leading to accidents.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: High winds, rain, snow, or icy conditions can make scaffolding slippery and unstable, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Foundation and Ground Conditions: A weak or uneven foundation, poor ground conditions, or settling can undermine the stability of the scaffold.
  • Design and Erection Errors: Mistakes made during the design and assembly of scaffolding, such as incorrect component assembly, missing or incorrect connections, or unsecured components, can result in accidents.
  • Improper Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Workers failing to use required PPE, such as safety harnesses, helmets, and non-slip footwear, can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate Fall ProtectionInsufficient or improperly installed guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems can leave workers exposed to fall hazards.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scaffolding accident, you should not hesitate to seek legal help. An experienced attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve and can help you navigate the legal system. At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP, we have the experience and resources you need to win your case.

Call (646) 692-0204 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Focused on Your Recovery

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