Did preventive maintenance issues cause your scaffolding fall?
You may need scaffolding in your construction work. Any time a job requires you to be more than six feet off the ground, safety measures must be in place. These may include preventive maintenance.
You expected safe, well-constructed scaffolding, but the guardrail failed, and you fell, fracturing your shoulder. In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, can you file a third-party claim for damages?
Safety according to OSHA
Fall protection is the safety standard most frequently violated, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Falls from ladders, scaffolding and roofs are a leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry.
Preventive maintenance and more
Preventive maintenance extends the life of equipment and has much to do with safety for workers using it. When a company supplying equipment such as scaffolding is short-staffed or there is a push for meeting a project deadline, preventive maintenance may be overlooked. It is important to monitor usage and to take into account manufacturer information concerning the history of the equipment as well as the current condition. A fall from a height when a scaffolding component fails can result in a devastating injury. A broken shoulder, while quite serious, is at least less severe than a spine or brain injury, which could require a lifetime of care.
Claims for compensation
As an employee injured on the job, you qualify for submitting a claim for workers’ compensation to help with your medical expenses and lost wages. Because the equipment you were using failed, you may also be able to file a third-party claim against the scaffolding manufacturer for additional financial compensation. An advocate working on your behalf can help you determine whether you should pursue this kind of claim.