Q Who is to blame for my scaffolding accident?
It’s been two months since you filed for workers’ compensation with your construction company and you still haven’t received your benefits. You filled out all the paperwork and described exactly how and when the scaffold broke, gathered witness statements that detailed your every move as you fell, and you even included medical reports that showed the fractures and swelling. However, the only response you have received from the insurance company is a request to prove that you weren’t at fault.
What does that even mean? It’s not like you intentionally sawed the plank in half in order to make it break, so what exactly is their question? Are you at fault for falling because you didn’t jump and cling to a nearby tree, or are they at fault for using a broken scaffold?
Understanding Faulty Scaffolding: Blame and Liability
Construction safety is an extremely important subject for the Louisiana Bureau of Labor (LBL). In addition to the federal scaffold standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the LBL also has a strict labor law enforcing proper employee standards for scaffolding. Both of these mandates, require construction employers to provide certain safety precautions when their employees use scaffolds. When these standards are not met, and a worker becomes injured as a result, the employer must take full responsibility for the injury. These standards include providing adequate:
- Safety rails and guards
- Cross and mid-rail bracing to add extra support to the scaffold structure
- Full planks and complete platforms (missing planks or broken platforms are unacceptable)
- Daily mandatory safety inspections
- Safety harnesses, lanyards, and ropes
- Clear and safe working environments
Over 72 percent of scaffolding accidents are caused by defective scaffolding and falls. As a result, the majority of these accidents are generally blamed on the employer and a lack of following the state and federal guidelines. However, this doesn’t mean the employer is always to blame. If you disregard safety protocols or intentionally put yourself or others in danger, you will be considered liable for not only your own injuries, but for all the injuries sustained by your negligence.
Stand Up and Fight Back
Suffering from a scaffolding accident can be excruciatingly painful and gut wrenchingly expensive. Thankfully, you don’t have to let someone else’s mistake haunt you for the rest of your life. We can help you to stand up and fight back. Call us today for a free consultation about your case. Our vast knowledge of construction injuries and years of experience dealing with construction accident insurance claims will help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to begin your fight for justice.
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