Many construction workers in the San Diego area have to work on building or fixing the city’s skyscrapers and other tall structures. Even when they are working on structures of relatively modest height, scaffolding is going to be an essential part of the construction project.
While necessary, scaffolding is often to blame for construction accidents which can, in the worst case scenario, leave a worker permanently disabled or even dead.
The most common hazards associated with scaffolding are falls, falling objects from a higher level of scaffolding, electric shock from nearby power lines and failures of either the scaffolding itself or the planks used as flooring.
Employers and those who design and erect the scaffolding can prevent many of these types of accidents with a few safety precautions. For example, the occurrence of falls can be greatly reduced with proper railing and other devices employees can use to protect themselves. Likewise, it is important not to erect scaffolding too close to a power line so as to prevent shock, and employers can provide, and insist on, hard hats and other safety measures to protect workers from falling objects.
With respect to failures of the scaffolding structure, employers also have an obligation to make sure that scaffolding gets built by a qualified person with experience in erecting scaffolding. Moreover, the employer can assure the scaffolding meets applicable safety standards and, legal standards aside, just seems like it can adequately support the weight it needs to hold without undue strain.
A scaffolding accident is preventable and will rarely be entirely the fault of a worker. Even when a worker could have been safer, however, California’s no-fault workers’ compensation system may offer that worker financial protection following a scaffolding injury. If it turns out someone other than the employer is responsible for the injury, a worker may also be able to file a civil lawsuit in order to make sure he or she gets all the compensation he or she will need.