Scaffolding is an important tool in building construction and repair. They provide a safety barrier, but are not necessarily always safe themselves. According to the US Department of Labor, there are roughly 45,000 scaffolding accidents per year with over 1% resulting in death. Who holds liability for scaffolding accidents? Like many other types of personal injuries, it could be one or many parties, depending on the circumstances.
Understanding the Cause of Scaffolding Accidents
There are a wide range of potential causes for scaffolding accidents. Tracing this starts with the details of the accident itself. Some common accidents are:
- Construction materials, tools, or other objects falling off scaffolding.
- Breakdown of the scaffolding due to manufacturing, assembly, defects, or improper use.
- Slip and falls while working on scaffolding.
- Electrocution from currents traveling through scaffolding structures.
- Damage to scaffolding caused by weather or other environmental conditions.
Injuries can vary greatly as well from minor injuries such as cuts and bruises to severe injuries that can result in death. Injured parties can be construction workers, visitors, or passersby (vehicles and pedestrians).
Parties Who May Hold Liability for Scaffolding Accidents
As with any product that may cause injury to others, liability for accidents starts with the manufacturers and extends through to suppliers, construction companies, end users, and more. The liable parties will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
For instance, if an accident is caused by defective scaffolding material, manufacturers could be held responsible for failing to use quality materials or processes to ensure safety. If the assembly was incorrect, causing a scaffolding structure to fail, the construction company may be more culpable. Although one might argue that the manufacturer also failed to provide adequate instructions for assembly. Weather related accidents might fault the site manager for not securing scaffolding with knowledge of inclement weather. An employer might be responsible for requiring work under dangerous conditions or maintaining lax safety protocols. Liability for scaffolding accidents is rarely limited to just a single party.
Legal Assistance for Your Personal Injury Case
If you are injured in a scaffolding accident, be sure to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Your legal team will play a key role in gathering facts surrounding your case and making critical assessments of liability for scaffolding accidents. This is not something that you should attempt alone. Experienced attorneys have the knowledge and resources to protect your rights and obtain proper compensation for your injuries. If you do not already have a personal injury attorney in Massachusetts, contact us to schedule a consultation,