Builder hurts knee after falling from scaffolding

When a Scaffolding Injury Occurs 

Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. April 3, 2023

Scaffoldings are often used for many construction projects that require reaching elevated heights. Workers can use the scaffolds to reach high levels to build, repair, clean, or paint structures. Unfortunately, there are various risks linked with scaffolding that may result in serious construction site accidents.  

Additionally, statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that scaffolding accidents cause about 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths in the United States annually. If you're a construction worker who got injured at the worksite on scaffolding, you may be entitled to seek damages by filing a claim.  

At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we have the diligence and knowledge to support and represent clients in their scaffolding accident cases. Our highly-skilled Nebraska personal injury attorneys can fight compassionately for your legal rights and help you pursue your rightful financial compensation. We’re proud to represent clients across Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Sarpy, Douglas, Lancaster, and Dodge County. 

Scaffolding on the Worksite  

A scaffold can be described as an elevated work platform which is usually erected on a worksite to elevate workers, materials, and equipment when building, repairing, cleaning, or painting structures. Scaffolding accidents are among the most common construction site accidents and work-related accidents. 

Types of Accidents that Occur on Scaffolding 

Here are the various types of accidents that occur on scaffolds: 

  • Scaffolding collapse 

  • Falls from the scaffolding 

  • Slips and trips from the scaffolding 

  • Being hit or struck by objects falling from the scaffolding. 

Common Causes of Scaffold Accidents 

Here are some common causes of scaffold accidents: 

  • Scaffolding constructed with defective parts 

  • Collisions with scaffolding support beams 

  • Lack of fall protection 

  • Poorly constructed scaffolding 

  • Missing support pieces 

  • Overloaded scaffolding platforms 

  • Poor or inadequate maintenance. 

Types of Workers at Risk 

Unfortunately, workers who use scaffolds to do their job are often exposed to scaffolding accidents. These include: 

  • Painters 

  • Carpenters 

  • Bricklayers 

  • Steeplejacks 

  • Welders 

  • Window washers 

  • Electricians 

  • Maintenance workers 

Common Scaffolding Injuries 

Here are some common construction site injuries that victims of scaffolding accidents often sustain: 

  • Fractures (broken bones) or dislocation 

  • Head and neck injuries 

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) 

  • Spinal cord injuries (paralysis) 

  • Significant disfigurement 

  • Amputations 

  • Loss of or damage to a bodily organ 

  • Deep cuts or severe lacerations 

  • Serious injuries to internal organs 

  • Death

If you or a loved one were involved in a scaffolding accident, you need to reach out to a seasoned personal injury attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can evaluate every detail of your unique situation and enlighten you about some Nebraska laws that may apply to your case. 

Nebraska’s Scaffolding Law  

According to Nebraska’s Scaffolding Law, any person employing or supervising labor of any kind to erect, repair, or paint a water pipe, pole, tank, chimney, tower, or dome where the use of any temporary platform, support, scaffolding, or other similar contrivance is required or used must maintain a safe and proper scaffold, support, or other suitable devices. This means that the contractor, agent, or property owner must always provide safe scaffolding for site workers. 

In addition, scaffolding or staging that is swung or suspended from an overhead support and more than 20 feet from the ground floor must have a safety rail properly bolted, braced, and secured, rising at least 34 inches above the floor. The primary aim of the statute is to ensure that the scaffolding is safe enough for the employee to use while working. 

Federal Scaffolding Law 

Here are some key provisions of OSHA’s scaffolding standard: 

  • Each employee over 10 feet above a lower level shall be protected from falls by guardrails or a fall arrest system. 

  • Mid-rails must be installed about halfway between the top rail and the platform surface. 

  • Support scaffold footings shall be level and able to support the loaded scaffold. 

  • Scaffolds and scaffold components must be able to support at least four times the maximum intended load. 

  • The employer must train employees that work on scaffolds about the risks and the procedures for controlling accidents and hazards. 

  • A competent person must inspect the scaffold and scaffold components for visible defects before each work shift or anything that might compromise the structural integrity. 

Filing a Claim  

In order to pursue fair compensation for injuries and damages suffered in a scaffolding accident, the plaintiff can: 

  • File a workers' compensation claim to seek workers' comp benefits for injuries, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses. 

  • File a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a third party for their negligent or careless actions that caused the scaffolding accident. 

  • File a wrongful death claims when the scaffolding accident causes the victim’s death. 

An experienced attorney can enlighten you about your available legal options to pursue damages and determine the best cause of action. 

Skilled Advocacy Every Step of the Way 

Getting hurt in a scaffolding accident or losing a loved one can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. Such an unfortunate incident can affect your physical, emotional, and financial health. However, you don’t have to face the challenges alone. At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of scaffolding accident victims and their loved ones. 

As your legal counsel, we can evaluate all of the facts of your unique circumstances and determine the best way to proceed with your injury claims. Whether you are filing a workers' compensation, personal injury, or wrongful death claim, our trusted legal team will fight vigorously for your best interests and help you seek your rightful financial compensation. 

Contact us at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. today to schedule a simple case assessment with experienced workplace injuries attorneys. Our reliable team can offer you the compassionate representation and dedicated legal counsel you need while filing your scaffolding accident claims. We’re proud to represent clients across Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding counties, including Sarpy, Douglas, Lancaster, and Dodge County.