Scaffolding and Construction Accidents
Scaffold-related construction accidents cause approximately 50 deaths and 4,500 injuries each year. An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Despite the many federal, state, and municipal regulations designed to protect these workers, persistent unsafe practices lead to thousands of preventable construction accidents each year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls on construction sites are the top cause of work-related fatalities.
If you were injured in a construction site accident in New Jersey or New York, it can be difficult to understand who is liable and what remedies you may have for obtaining compensation for your injuries. After an accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you understand your rights. At the Law Offices of Herbert I. Ellis, P.C., in Freehold, New Jersey, we will evaluate the circumstances of your case and give you honest answers and advice about your situation.
Guidelines for Safe Use of Construction Site Scaffolding
In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study, 72 percent 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.
Protecting workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year, the BLS says.
The NCDOL says accidents involving scaffolding mainly include:
- Workers falling
- Improper scaffolding construction or operating procedures
- Environmental conditions (cold and ice, rain, wind, presence of toxic gases, etc.)
- Falling materials
- Scaffolding failures at attachment points
- Parts failure, including from overloading of scaffolding
- Inadequate fall protection
- Inadequate work rules.
About 35 percent of workplace fatalities in the construction industry are because of falls, according to federal statistics. Falls from scaffolds or being hit by objects falling from scaffolds can also cause serious personal injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
- Internal organ injury
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Severe lacerations (deep cuts).
Construction Workers’ Rights
A worker who is injured on the job is generally entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Workers’ Compensation system is designed to cover injured workers’ medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who or what caused the accident.
The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (NJCRIB), an agency in the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, is responsible for establishing and maintaining regulations and premium rates for workers’ compensation and employers’ liability insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance coverage can be obtained from any of the more than 400 private licensed insurance companies authorized to sell workers’ compensation policies in New Jersey. A policy can be purchased directly from an insurance carrier, an insurance agent, or an insurance broker
A workers’ compensation policy covers the following:
- Reasonable medical services necessary to treat the job injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits to help replace lost wages up to statutory maximum
- Permanent disability benefits to compensate for the continued effects of the injury
- Burial and death benefits for dependents in cases of fatal injury
A Team of Personal Injury Lawyers on Your Side
If you are in the New York or New Jersey area and have been the victim of a scaffolding and construction accident, you are entitled to a fair settlement for your damages. Call the Ellis Law Firm today at 888-355-4752, and we will get you in touch with one of our specialists who knows all about the New Jersey scaffolding and construction accident laws, and how much you’re entitled to for your injuries.