Workers in California's construction industry frequently risk their lives on scaffolding. While safety authorities say falls form a significant percentage of annual workplace fatalities in the state, it is not always the lack of fall protection that is to blame. Negligently erected scaffold structures that collapse cause many construction workers' accidents, with traumatic consequences.
There are strict regulations for the construction and use of scaffolds, as well as the accessibility and frequent inspection of the structures. Trained personnel must erect scaffolds, and the instructions of the manufacturer must be followed precisely. A qualified individual must inspect it before the start of each shift. Any piece of the frame that is twisted, cracked, bent, dented or damaged can compromise the safety of any workers on a scaffold.
According to safety regulations, the inspector of the structure must be able to identify predictable and existing hazards in the working conditions and surroundings. That person must have the authority to take quick corrective action if any unsanitary and dangerous conditions are identified. However, even competent people can be fallible, and workers must also keep a lookout for each other and report any concerns they have about the structure.
Victims of construction workers' accidents in California can recover medical expenses and lost wages through the workers' compensation insurance system of the state. However, if the injuries were caused by a collapsed scaffold that was negligently erected by a third-party company, the worker might have grounds for a civil lawsuit apart from the insurance benefits claim. Discussing the details with an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help to determine whether additional damage recovery can be pursued.