The leading Fort Lauderdale scaffold accident lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to helping victims of scaffolding accidents caused by negligence. We have successfully handled all types of workers’ compensation claims involving falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolds, recovering compensation for injured workers throughout Florida.
A scaffold is a temporary platform that is either supported from below or suspended from above, on which workers sit or stand when performing tasks at heights above the ground. Scaffolds are most commonly used in construction and restoration projects, where workers have to build, paint, or clean a building level by level. Because scaffolds and other raised staging equipment are high off the ground, they present a serious risk of injury to the climber. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 54 fatalities from scaffold accidents in in 2009 alone. In their study, the Bureau found that 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.
Common injuries caused by scaffold accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Severe fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Heat and chemical burns
- Loss of limb, amputation
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
Injuries caused by scaffolding can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards. OSHA sets forth specific standards for general construction, shipyard employment, marine terminals, and longshoremen work. Under OSHA regulations, scaffolds must be furnished and erected in accordance with OSHA standards, with sound footing or anchorage so that they are capable of carrying the maximum intended load “without settling or displacement.” Unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick, or concrete blocks cannot be used to support the scaffolds or planks. Further, scaffolds “shall be maintained in safe condition.” They cannot be altered or moved horizontally while they are in use or occupied. Indeed, employers can put their workers at risk of scaffold accidents in many ways, including:
- Incorrect assembly of scaffolds
- Improper installation of guardrails
- Failure to use personal fall protection
- Violation of manufacturer’s instructions
- Lack of proper safety training or inspection
- Allowing workers to access platforms without protective gear
In addition to being cited for an OSHA violation, negligent employers are also liable in damages for any workers’ compensation claims. The Florida Statutes require employers in the construction industry to carry workers’ compensation coverage if they have one or more employees. Florida’s workers’ compensation laws establish an accident insurance program that provides medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits for work-related injuries. The law covers all accidental injuries and all occupational diseases “arising out of” or “in the course and scope of” employment, including scaffold accidents. Successful claimants are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other disability benefits amounting to a portion of their average weekly wage. Most benefits depend upon the nature and extent of the injury and whether they result in a partial or total loss of function in the affected parts of the body.
If you were injured in a scaffold accident, the experienced Fort Lauderdale scaffold accident attorneys of Anidjar & Levine can help. We have helped numerous employees recover compensation on their workers’ compensation claims. We have also successfully handled all types of personal injury suits against general contractors, subcontractors, and manufacturers of defective scaffolding, ladders, and equipment. Our attorneys are recognized leaders in fighting for the rights injured workers in all areas of Florida. At Anidjar & Levine, we understand that scaffold injuries are serious and are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 747-FREE for a free consultation or contact us online.