Last month, two workers were injured in a construction accident while working on a building in the Southeast area of Washington, D.C. Both workers were struck by a concrete pump while on a 15-foot-high scaffolding. The workers were saved by using a rescue basket before both were taken to a nearby hospital.
What Causes Scaffolding Accidents?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), scaffoldings are used by approximately 65 percent of all construction workers. However, working with scaffolding comes with the inherent risk of getting stuck by falling objects, especially when equipment is kicked off, dropped or ricocheted off a nearby building. In fact, a study from OSHA shows that struck-by accidents account for 37 percent of all workplace injuries. Hard hats must be worn and debris nets employed in order to prevent struck-by hazards.
Additionally, fall hazards cause a significant number of scaffolding accidents. By law, workers must be given the proper safety equipment, such as ropes and harnesses to protect them when they are working more than 10 feet off the ground. When these requirements are not employed, construction accidents can occur and cause injuries or even death.
Improperly assembled scaffolding can also cause a construction accident. When the scaffolding is not properly tied down to prevent instability, workers lose their balance and fall. A study from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics found 72 percent of injuries sustained in scaffolding accidents occur when the structure’s support gives way. Employers must make sure workers are trained on how to assemble and inspect scaffolds according to OSHA’s standards.
Construction Site Companies are Responsible for Protecting Workers
According to OSHA, most workplace accidents are preventable when proper safety precautions are taken and workers are properly trained to recognize potential risks. When construction companies fail to follow these regulations at their sites, it is possible to hold them accountable for injuries sustained in construction accidents.
The Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP help workers who have sustained injuries or lost loved ones in a construction accident. Contact us today to speak to one of our attorneys.