Gilman Law LLP’s Florida Scaffolding Accident Attorneys, Workplace Injury Lawyers are Here to Help You.
Florida Scaffolding Accident Lawyers
Scaffolding accidents cause scores of injuries and deaths every year. If you were in a Florida scaffolding accident while on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may also be entitled to sue third parties who had a role in your accident, such as the manufacturers of scaffolding equipment. The Florida scaffolding accident lawyers at the law firm of Gilman Law LLP will work hard to make sure you receive whatever compensation the law allows.
Our Florida scaffolding accident lawyers have years of experience representing the victims of construction site injuries, including those caused by scaffolding accidents. If you or someone you know were hurt in this way, we urge you to contact one of our Florida scaffolding accident lawyers in our Bonita Springs, Ft.Myers or Naples offices to protect your legal rights.
Scaffolding Safety Standards
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an average of 61 fatalities occurred in the years 2008-2009 from scaffolding accidents. In a Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards.
If you work on scaffolding, it is important to be aware of OSHA standards in order to protect yourself. Under the OSHA rules, scaffolding must always be erected, moved, dismantled or altered under the supervision of competent persons. A competent person is defined as one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective action to eliminate them.
Under OSHA rules, a scaffolding frame must be capable of supporting four times the maximum intended load. Using a horizontal frame separation distance of seven feet, the maximum plank extension over the end support must be no more than 12 inches if guardrails are not used to block access to the area. On a 10-section wide frame scaffold, the overlap for each plank on top of each other must be 12 inches. A scaffold five feet wide, 35 feet in length and 30 feet high with frame spacing of seven feet must have horizontal securement every 20 feet and vertical tie-in every 20 feet. A frame scaffold, three sections high, using a cantilevered outrigger platform, must use ties, guys, braces, outriggers or the scaffold manufacturer’s stabilizer legs or equivalent.
OSHA requires that the space between scaffolding planks be no more than one inch. The maximum distance permitted between a plank and a frame upright is nine inches. An uncleated scaffold plank must extend over the end support a minimum of six inches.
Cross bracing is acceptable in place of midrails when the “X” is between 20 and 30 inches above the work surface. Cross bracing is also acceptable in place of a top rail when the “X” is between 30 and 48 inches above the work surface. The purpose of using pins to lock a scaffold vertically together is to prevent uplift. This can occur with a rough terrain forklift grabbing scaffold. Wind, climbing a scaffold or the use of a hoist can also cause it to lift up.
OSHA requires that scaffold platforms above one section high must be provided with safe access. When hook-on-ladders are used, they must be provided with a rest platform every 35 feet. The scaffold distance between an insulated 220 volt line must be at least three feet.
Work is not be permitted during high winds. High winds are classified by the National Weather Service as 30 mph gusts or higher. Ultimately, the decision is to be made by the competent person.
Unfortunately, not all construction sites adhere to OSHA standards all of the time. According to OSHA, some of the most common scaffolding violations cited at job sites included:
- Not having the scaffold deck fully floored
- Not having the scaffold level or capable of supporting its designated load with the proper use of screw jacks, footings, etc.
- Not providing safe access for each scaffold
- Not providing proper fall, or falling object, protection — guardrails, midrails, toe boards, screens and debris netting
- Not having scaffold components approved by a competent person on the job site
- Not having the scaffold inspected daily
Liability in Scaffolding Accidents
If you are injured in a scaffolding accident on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In Florida, benefits are typically paid at 66 2/3% of your average weekly rate. Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier also pays for all authorized medical treatment. Florida law requires the employer to furnish medical treatment, care, and attendance for as long as the nature of the injury requires.
Some injuries – such as spinal cord injuries – are presumed to be permanently and totally disabling. If you are totally disabled, you are eligible to receive benefits until you reach the age of 75. In the case of a work related death, Florida law requires that families be provided for.
In addition to workers compensation, you may also be entitled to compensation from third parties who played a role in your scaffolding accident. These third parties could include manufacturers, vendors, or installers whose negligence contributed to unsafe scaffolding.
Legal Help for Victims of Florida Scaffolding Accidents
Our Florida scaffolding accident lawyers have helped hundreds of victims and their families recover from these tragedies across the entire state. We will work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Florida scaffolding accident, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form, or call 1 800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636) to discuss your case with one of the experienced Florida scaffolding accident lawyers at our firm. With offices in Bonita Springs, Ft.Myers or Naples Florida, our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.