How Dangerous Is Scaffolding on Construction Sites?

By Peter DePaolis

Workers at accident scenes sometimes tell us that they knew they were supposed to take precautions, but that they were being rushed to complete the job. Construction companies’ race to beat the bottom line is costing our construction workers their lives, and it is time to stand up and say “No more.”

Twice last month, scaffolding collapsed at Pittsburgh construction sites, leading to seven workers being seriously injured. The accidents are being investigated by the Pittsburgh office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Construction AreaThe accidents occurred, ironically, just as OSHA began a massive safety campaign—part of which includes teaching workers how to perform safety inspections—within the construction industry in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.

OSHA reports that the highest number of violations occur at sites where fall protection equipment, scaffolding and ladders are not being used properly.

Falls are easily the biggest cause of construction-related injuries in the area. Over the last 10 years, more than half (42 out of 80) of the fatal construction accidents in Pittsburgh involved falls.

I Want to Report My Supervisor and I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer

With the constant rush to get jobs done on time and under budget, there are bound to be many other dangers on construction sites in addition to fall hazards. In 2013 alone, three Pittsburgh construction workers had non-fall related fatal accidents: two by electrocution, and one after being pinned between a lift and a bridge girder.

If you work in construction in the Pittsburgh area, we want to hear your stories. Visit our Facebook page to share what you’ve experienced. The more we reveal the carelessness and callous behavior of construction company owners, the sooner we can put a stop to these needless injuries and deaths from construction accidents.

Did You Know? OSHA has only 2,200 inspectors responsible for 130 million workers—or about one compliance officer for every 59,000 people.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.