Last Thursday, three individuals working at a home in San Francisco reportedly fell when the scaffolding upon which they were working collapsed. Two of the employees suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the accident. The man had been hired by the building owner to perform work.
The accident, according to sources, is under investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. No information has been released as to the company through which the workers were hired.
Our readers may not know it, but scaffolding--widely used in the construction industry--is regulated by federal law. Scaffolding can obviously be dangerous to work upon, and workers are protected by safety regulations. In California, scaffolding must conform to standards and requirements laid out in the Code of Safe Practice.
Some of these requirements are:
• Scaffolding must be designed to supports its own weight, plus four times the maximum load
• A qualified person must supervise scaffold erection and dismantling
• A special permit is required for the erection and dismantling of scaffolding that go above three stories or 36 feet in height
• Workers who are exposed to overhead hazards are supposed to be provided with appropriate protection
Employees injured due to an employer's faulty erection of scaffolding or failure to provide the required protection may have legal options. Personal injury litigation can allow harmed workers to obtain the compensation they need. Workers interested in pursuing such litigation might benefit from working with an experienced attorney, as this will help produce a more favorable outcome in their case.
Source: KTVU.com, "Three injured in SF scaffolding collapse," January 24, 2014.