SCAFFOLDING ACCIDENTS


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Protecting The Wrongfully Injured

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), around 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the painting and construction industry, work with ladders and on scaffolding.

It comes as little surprise that due to employer negligence, improper safety standards and faulty equipment, that scaffolding accidents cause about 4,500 worker injuries and over 60 deaths every year.

In a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffolding accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support breaking or giving way, to an employee slipping, or a worker being struck by a falling object. Almost every kind of scaffolding accident can be prevented by proper worker training and responsible construction site management.

Falls are a leading cause of traumatic occupational death. Scaffolding accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including orthopedic trauma, bone fractures, head injuries, and neck and back injuries.

When employers fail to protect employees and fail to provide a safe workplace, victims can file hire workplace injury lawyers, file personal injury lawsuits and recover costs for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio Catastrophic Injury lawyer who has had success representing victims of construction site and scaffolding accidents.

The Lyon Firm works with OSHA experts, construction site engineers, and vocational experts to investigate and determine whether poor management, safety violations, worker negligence or defective equipment caused an injury.


Causes of Scaffolding Failure


  • Improper securement of scaffolding
  • Missing or inadequate guardrails
  • Old or defective planks
  • Unsafe or missing harnesses
  • Inadequate worker training
  • Scaffold collapses
  • Falling debris
  • Improper operating procedures
  • Working in unsafe weather conditions
  • Overloading of scaffolding
  • OSHA Fall Safety Violation

Examples of Past Scaffolding Accidents


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report describing five different fatal scaffolding accidents. None of the following deaths described would have occurred if the existing OSHA regulations for the safe use of scaffolds had been observed.

  • A painting foreman and a 28-year-old male painter died when the scaffold from which they were working collapsed, causing them to fall nearly 48 feet to the ground. The scaffold manufacturer specified 600 pounds of counterweight for this scaffold and load, but the painters used only 200 pounds of counterweight. The painters were not harnessed or secured, and used no fall protection.
  • A 27-year-old male cement finisher died when he fell from a scaffold and his safety harness snapped. Examination of the safety harness showed burn damage from cutting and welding operations. The employer failed to inspect fall protection equipment.
  • A 33-year-old male caulking mechanic died when a scaffold on which he was working failed and he wore no fall protection. He fell six stories to his death.
  • A 37-year-old male painter died when the platform he was working from fell 65 feet inside a water storage tank. Investigation revealed that two U-bolts on the loop of cable supporting the block and tackle had loosened enough to allow cable ends to slip through, causing the scaffold to fall.
  • A 39-year-old painter died after falling 40 feet when a scaffold suspension rope broke. An investigation revealed that a nylon hoist rope had broken at a point where it had been burned some time before the incident.

Kinds of Equipment Involved In Scaffolding Accidents


  • Bricklayer’s scaffold
  • Bracket scaffold
  • Frame scaffold
  • Ladder jack scaffold
  • Mobile scaffold
  • Needle beam scaffold
  • Outrigger scaffold
  • Suspension scaffold
  • Swinging scaffold
  • Tube scaffold

Preventing Scaffolding Failure 


Federal safety regulations impose strict requirements for scaffold design and setup, and employers and contractors must follow the specifications or they may be held liable for any resulting injury. Basic scaffolding guidelines in Ohio and around the country include:

  • Each level of scaffolding must have a safe area of access.
  • Steps and landings must have nonslip treads.
  • Scaffolds must support their own weight plus four-times the maximum intended load.
  • Level, stable footing is mandatory for each scaffold.
  • Scaffolds attached to building facades must be properly secured.
  • Scaffolds must have appropriate guardrails.
  • Scaffold accessories like ladders or braces must be maintained and in good working condition
  • Rope used on scaffolding must be protected from heat-producing sources and regularly inspected
  • Canopies or safety netting may be required to protect workers from falls and from falling debris.
  • Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from electrical power lines.
  • Scaffolds and riggings must be inspected before every shift.
  • Large-scale scaffolds require inspection by a certified engineer to ensure that they are structurally sound.

Scaffolding Failure Lawsuits


Employers in Ohio must comply with OSHA regulations, inspect all scaffolds before each shift, and provide personal fall protection equipment. Employers should provide workers with proper training for scaffold systems and for using personal fall protection equipment. Untrained personnel should not be permitted to work from any type of suspension scaffold.

Improper assembly and improper training account for the vast majority of scaffolding accidents. Following a serious scaffolding failure incident, the injured parties are encouraged to prepare for legal action by considering the following:

  1. Gather information about the accident. That may include photos of the scene, witness testimony, medical reports, daily employee records, and OSHA regulation adherence.
  2. Preserve the scaffolding for industry experts and attorney to investigate. This will act as evidence in your potential case. Contact the contractor or subcontractor and remind them of the legal issues at hand.
  3. You may collect Workers’ compensation, however, this may not cover all your costs, and filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest.
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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.

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Questions about Industrial Accident Cases

What are the types of Industrial Accident Cases?

Equipment rollovers and falls are the main causes of injury and death in industry. For workers on foot, being struck by heavy equipment or trucks are major causes of death.

Vehicle and forklift overturns are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities. Each year in the United States, nearly 100 workers are killed and another 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related incidents.

Falls on the job are no less fatal. In the United States each year, over 500 workers die as a result of falls from elevations.

Other preventable events include the following:

What is an Arc Flash Injury?

Arc flash accidents are an electrical occurrence when an electrical current deviates from its designated path and travels to another conductor. If a worker is hit by an arc flash or is even near one, they are likely to suffer severe electrical injury.

Anything from dropping a tool to faulty wiring can cause an arc flash accident. Poorly maintained materials or electrical systems can lead to arc flash incidents. An electric shock, burns, fires and damage is likely following an arc flash. Employers are urged to protect workers from arc flash injury, with the following prevention methods:

  • De-energize electrical circuits while working
  • Use proper insulation and guarding
  • Provide workers with work barricades
  • Install adequate ground fault circuit interrupters
  • Provide workers with personal safety equipment
  • Place warning labels regarding arc flash hazards
Can product liability be included in industrial accident litigation?

Each year, industrial accidents generate millions in settlements and verdicts for victims. Product liability issues cannot be discounted. In many past incidents, industrial equipment has been found to be inherently flawed. If machinery is found to have a faulty design or missing safety components, victims and their attorneys can file suit against large industrial manufacturers.

The legal options will depend on what caused the industrial accident and injury. Industrial accident injuries are usually permanent and should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex personal injury matters. Mr. Lyon has successfully litigated numerous industrial injury cases and obtained settlements for workers, over and beyond their workers comp.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Industrial Accident Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Industrial accident lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world.

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