If you or a loved one work in the construction industry, chances are you have witnessed an injury resulting from a scaffolding accident, often due to infrastructure giving way or an unfortunate slip and fall. Scaffolding is often an integral component of many large building projects, but it requires careful management by construction companies and their employees. At Kantrovitz & Associates, we understand the risks involved in using these devices and the requirements that employers must meet to minimize these hazards. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to representing Massachusetts employees who have been injured in a scaffolding accident as they pursue compensation for their harm and time off work. We also serve workers throughout New Hampshire and Rhode Island.Scaffolding Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 65 percent of all construction workers work on scaffolds. As a result, nearly 4,500 are hurt every year in scaffold-related accidents. Even more tragically, more than 60 construction workers die every year from scaffolding accidents, often because a support gives way, an employee slips, or the worker is struck by a falling object.
Scaffolding is a necessary part of many construction projects and may be used to allow workers to reach elements of a building that are beyond ground level or the reach of a ladder or other equipment. Construction workers may use scaffolding to complete necessary installations, paint parts of a home or other project, or repair parts of a building that are far off the ground. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) carefully regulates the use of scaffolding by employers, injuries may still occur due to incorrect assembly, faulty parts, wear and tear, slippery or unsafe surfaces, or a failure to correctly train employees on how to work on scaffolding.Seeking Benefits for Your Job-Related Harm
The Massachusetts workers’ compensation system is designed to help individuals who have experienced an injury as a result of scaffolding or other accidents at their worksite. This insurance framework is designed to replace injury claims filed by an employee against his or her employer. After a workplace accident, a worker should seek immediate medical attention for his or her harm and should make sure that the physician properly records the relationship between the injury and the employee’s workplace. Additionally, it is important to document the circumstances under which the accident took place, including writing down a summary of the events, taking any necessary pictures, interviewing witnesses, and possibly beginning an official investigation to support your workers’ compensation claim.
Some workers who are hurt on scaffolding may be able to return to their jobs shortly afterward. Still, if they miss at least five calendar days because of an injury, they may be able to receive temporary total incapacity benefits, which comprise 60 percent of their average weekly wage and can last for up to three years. People who are hurt in an accident but can work in a limited capacity may seek partial incapacity benefits. These consist of 75 percent of what they would get under temporary total incapacity benefits. In the unfortunate situation that someone can no longer work at all, that individual can seek permanent total incapacity benefits, which are valued at two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage over the previous year and can extend indefinitely. Since a person’s condition may change over time, some employees will transition among these types of benefits.
In addition to filing a workers’ compensation claim, if you believe that your employer is in violation of federal scaffolding regulations, you can report this unlawful conduct and consider filing an OSHA claim. For example, employers are required to ensure that scaffolding wheels are locked before use, that scaffolding is inspected before every time it is used, that employees do not work below scaffolding, and that proper fall protection equipment, such as harnesses, are used. If a failure to follow any of these requirements has contributed to your injury, you may have an OSHA claim.Discuss Your Work Injury with a Massachusetts Attorney
At Kantrovitz & Associates, we believe that all employees are entitled to safe working environments, proper safety training, and compensation for job-related accidents. Our work injury lawyers have over two decades of experience helping individuals throughout Massachusetts fight for the medical care and compensation that they deserve. Our clients come from Boston and throughout Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Plymouth Counties, as well as the Merrimack River area. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, call us at (800) 367-0871 or online.