Texas’s booming construction industry bears one of the highest risks for work-related accidents due to safety violations. Construction workers often must handle heavy, poorly maintained equipment, and perform physically demanding tasks in a stressful environment. One of the leading causes for injury is unsafe or defective scaffolding at construction sites. Weak scaffolding can result in serious falls, collapses, and even fatal accidents.
Most recently, six Houston construction workers were trapped and critically injured when substantial metal scaffolding collapsed in the middle of a project. The affiliated masonry company had previously been cited for multiple worker safety violations. Unfortunately, tragic scaffolding collapse accidents are far too common, and preventable occupational hazards continue to endanger the lives of Texan construction workers.
Workplace Safety Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintains specific safety regulations for scaffolding use, with requirements such as:
- Unstable objects, e.g., barrels, boxes, loose bricks, or concrete blocks cannot be used to support scaffolds (1910.28(a)(2)).
- Scaffolds and their components must be capable of supporting at least four times the maximum intended load (1910.28(a)(4)).
- Any scaffold that is damaged or weakened must be immediately repaired and cannot be used until repairs are completed (1910.28(a)(6)).
- All planking or platforms must be overlapped at least 12 inches or secured from movement (1910.28(a)(11)).
Additionally, workers must be provided with an access ladder or other safe access to scaffolding, and employees are not permitted to work on scaffolds during inclement weather conditions and high winds. Any ice, snow, or debris should be cleaned from platforms before workers can safely stand on them.
When contractors blatantly ignore OSHA standards for using and maintaining scaffolds, workers suffer dangerous consequences. Some common scenarios that result in scaffolding accidents include:
- Poor infrastructural design and execution that fails to properly secure scaffolding to a building;
- Construction site conditions that exceed that maximum weight limit of scaffolding structures;
- Scaffolding is built using weak or defective materials/parts;
- Scaffolding is worn due to infrequent maintenance;
- Other equipment such as forklifts interfering with scaffolding beams;
Workplace Accident Legal Claims
If you or a loved one recently suffered a work-related injury, you can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but it might not be enough to cover all your financial losses. A scaffolding collapse or other construction site accident can result in serious injuries that leave you with a permanent physical limitations. You might be unable to return to work, while racking up hefty hospital bills. However, when your injuries are caused by workplace negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for damages through a personal injury claim.
The experienced Houston workplace liability attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help assess your situation, and determine your best legal option. In the past, we have recovered compensation for the cost of our clients’ medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, and disfigurement cause by work-related accidents. Because our lawyers are knowledgeable in Texas personal injury laws, we will be able to guide you through the entire legal process from start to finish.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we strive to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to set up a free case consultation with one of our worksite accident lawyers.