In 2006, there were twenty suspended scaffolding accidents in New York City alone. Of that number, six construction workers died while the remainder required rescue or were treated for serious injuries. According to the New York City Buildings Department, this represents an eighty-two percent increase from 2005 in the number of suspended scaffolding accidents. As a result, personal injury lawyers in New York see the increase in cases and lawsuits resulting from scaffold accidents. Eighty percent of the suspended scaffolding accidents recorded in 2006 involved scaffolds that did not require a permit for use by the city government. A “C-hook” scaffold was involved in sixty-five percent of all scaffolding accidents. Construction accident lawyers at the New York City based personal injury law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP confirm that one hundred percent of the fatalities that resulted from these scaffolding accidents involved the misuse or non-use of safety harnesses, which are required by law. Twenty two percent of all worker fall accidents in NYC in 2010 were from scaffolds.
Many of these scaffolding accidents involved immigrant construction workers who lacked proper training and supervision. Furthermore, on many of the job sites where these accidents took place, the building permits were not in order. Improperly maintained scaffolds, sometimes leading to scaffolding collapses, is often one of the main causes of construction-related work injuries.
When an organization does not take adequate safety precautions to ensure the well-being of its workers, it may be held responsible if an employee sustains serious injury as a result of the company’s negligence. Furthermore, if a worker is injured from a scaffolding accident, he or she, with the help of experienced construction accident lawyers, may file a lawsuit against people or companies, besides their employer, if those parties contributed to the accident due to the failure to maintain a safe working environment. For example, responsible parties may include: contractors, sub-contractors, equipment manufacturers, tool manufacturers, landlords and materials suppliers.