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Scaffolding Falls

Scaffolding Falls

Scaffolds (structurally supported or suspended) provide elevated work platforms for tasks such as construction, repair and cleaning. There are many different types of scaffolds including fixed structures (davit), mobile (rolling), suspended (swinging), motorized and others. Falls from height are one of the most significant occupational hazards, thus special care must be practiced to insure that appropriate safety systems are in place to protect scaffold users and bystanders. These include guard railings and fall protection equipment. Some scaffolds involve multiple personnel and motorized suspension systems that must be synchronized for leveling and vertical travel, while others rely on structural design to minimize instability and sway. As a result, scaffolding accidents have a wide variety of root causes. Construction codes and safety standards often dictate the manner of construction and worker protection required for a given application. With the appropriate installation, safety equipment, and user practices, work from scaffolds can be done safely; however, serious accidents can occur if adequate precautions are not taken.

Our engineers have been assisting attorneys and insurance representatives in investigating accidents since 1990. We have a highly qualified staff of engineers with advanced degrees from top-tier universities who have provided testimony on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants at trial

Previous Cases

Fall Protection Injury:

A worker engaged in post-9/11 cleanup near Ground Zero was on a 4-man/4-motor elevated work-platform when a motor malfunction and pitched him off the platform, resulting in his dangling from his safety harness over 100’ in mid-air. The defense argued that he could not have been injured from this event, but we were able to show through biomechanical simulation that although his safety harness saved him from a great fall, his body received severe trauma when he swung into a nearby wall.

Fall from Baker Scaffold:

A 6’4”, 260 lb worker claimed that he was injured during a fall from a 42” platform Baker scaffold as it fell over when he was descending it. Given the man’s size and weight, we showed that the scaffold should have been provided with better access for mounting and dismounting, fitted with outriggers or been tied down to prevent its tipping over. Despite defense objections regarding custom and practice issues, our analysis aided in securing the worker a handsome settlement for his severe injuries.