Construction Accidents and Scaffold Collapses By Larry A. Tawwater on December 02, 2021

construction workers on scaffoldingScaffolding plays an integral role on many construction sites. Scaffolding is a temporary structure that allows work to be completed at elevated heights. Despite strict safety guidelines, scaffolding accidents are a leading cause of construction worker injuries. Often these accidents occur because scaffolding collapses.

Scaffolding collapses can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries, as well as substantial financial losses. Victims of construction accidents involving scaffold collapses in the Oklahoma City, OK, area can work with construction accident attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm to hold liable parties accountable for accident damages. 

Causes of Scaffolding Collapses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has very strict guidelines regarding the installation and use of scaffolding on construction sites. These regulations are meant to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. Despite the standards that OSHA has put in place, scaffolding accidents occur at an alarming rate, most often because regulations have been ignored or shortcuts have been taken. 

One common type of scaffolding accident is scaffold collapse, which occurs when part or all of the scaffolding structure gives way. A scaffolding collapse is usually entirely preventable. Common causes of scaffolding collapses include:

  • Overloading scaffolding planks with workers and/or equipment
  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Scaffolding built with inferior or defective parts
  • Inappropriate placement and/or positioning of scaffolding
  • Improperly secured scaffolding
  • Poor scaffolding maintenance
  • Vehicle collision with scaffolding

How Dangerous Are Scaffolding Collapses?

Scaffolding collapses are extremely dangerous. Construction workers who are on scaffolding at the time of a collapse are likely to fall, and most likely from a significant height. Falls are classified by OSHA as one of the Fatal Four types of construction accidents, because it is one of the four most deadly. In 2019, about one in five, or 20%, of worker fatalities in private industry were in construction.

While falls are the most common consequence of a scaffolding collapse, crush injuries are also a concern. Workers on lower levels of scaffolding may be crushed by the collapsing structure, or struck by falling workers and/or equipment. Oklahoma City construction workers who survive a scaffolding collapse are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries, which may include:

  • Severe lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Neck, back, or spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Loss of limb
  • Paralysis

Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Workers should notify their employer and begin the workers’ compensation process as soon as possible following a construction accident. Workers’ compensation should provide financial compensation for medical expenses and lost wages related to a workplace accident. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation often fails to account for the full extent of construction accident injuries, and they do not provide compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

If workers’ compensation is insufficient to cover the full extent of construction accident damages, or if a workers’ compensation claim is denied, injury victims should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Construction accident attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm work alongside experts in the field to recreate construction accidents, establish liability, and hold responsible parties accountable for the damages they have caused our Oklahoma City clients.

Contact the Tawwater Law Firm 

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a scaffolding collapse, construction accident attorneys at the Tawwater Law Firm can help you explore your right to financial compensation. To discuss the details of your accident with our legal team, contact us online, or call (405) 607-1400 and schedule a personal consultation.

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