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Texas Scaffolding Accidents
Texas construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs around and hundreds, if not thousands of them are injured or killed as a result of jobsite accidents each year. Some of the most common Texas Construction Accidents involve scaffolds or scaffolding and other types of lifts since scaffolding and lifts are used in almost every type of construction. Scaffolding accidents can be very serious and usually result in workers falling or objects falling onto workers. In fact, in 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported 88 fatalities occurred in 2007 from scaffolds.
What is Scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support workers and their materials on a construction jobsite. These temporary platforms are commonly constructed with timber or steel, and sometimes made with left over scrap materials. Scaffolding set-up is often not well-planned and therefore is not at all designed to keep Texas workers safe from work related accidents. There are many types of scaffolding, but the most common are:
- Supported Scaffolds - one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, or other rigid supports. Frame scaffolds are the most common type of supported scaffold.
- Suspended Scaffolds - platforms suspended by ropes and the like from an overhead structure. Two-point scaffolds are the most commonly used.
- Aerial Lifts - basket-equipped devices used to conduct work at great heights. Aerial lifts are often used to replace shipyard scaffolding in a maritime setting.
Why Does Scaffolding Cause Injuries?
In a Bureau of Labor and Statistics study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards for scaffolds used in the construction industry. When safety is not the foremost concern of Texas Construction Companies, workplace accidents occur, and when those accidents involve scaffolding failures, the injuries can be severe and include:
- Falling from height due to lack of guardrails
- Scaffolding collapse due to improper construction or overloading
- Falling objects hitting a construction worker because the area around the scaffolding has not been restricted or secured properly
- Electrocution when scaffolds are too close to power sources
Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. has helped hundreds of Texas employees injured while working with scaffolds. If you have been injured in a construction accident involving scaffolding in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Please contact SMSH today and one of our Houston, Texas Construction Accident Lawyers will assist you with your case.