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Scaffolding Collapse in Milford Shows Ever-Present Dangers to Construction Workers

Construction work appears on every list of the most dangerous jobs in America, and for good reason. More than 150,000 injuries occur on U.S. construction sites every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among them are scaffolding accidents, which account for at least 4,500 injuries annually. A recent scaffolding collapse in Milford, Massachusetts serves as a vivid reminder of the potential hazards on construction sites.

Four workers were hurt when their scaffolding failed. They fell through the floorboards and plummeted 22 feet to the ground. Luckily, three of the workers escaped with relatively minor injuries. The fourth worker was transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries. Milford’s police chief told reporters that the workers were doing roofing work on a home and were all standing on the scaffolding when its center section gave way.

The incident in Milford is one of the more common types of scaffolding accidents. It could have been caused by any number of things, such as that the floorboards were old and rotting or perhaps that the scaffolding was overloaded. Other common causes of scaffolding accidents include:

  • Poor design
  • Lack of overhead protection
  • Lack of guardrails
  • Failure of braking systems on suspended scaffoldings
  • Fall protection not provided to workers
  • Rusty, bent or otherwise damaged scaffolding components

Scaffolding accidents are often the result of negligence by construction site contractors or by suppliers of the equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates scaffolding with a comprehensive set of rules that include these requirements:

  • Scaffolding must be built to support its own weight plus four times the intended load.
  • Scaffolding six feet or more above the ground must have a guardrail system.
  • Workers must have fall protection such as harnesses and netting when working on scaffolds more than 10 feet high.
  • Scaffolding must be inspected by a qualified person before each shift.
  • The area under the scaffolding must be shielded by canopies or barricades to protect people below.

Scaffolding falls can leave workers with debilitating injuries, including spinal cord damage, head and brain trauma and broken bones. In addition, workers under the scaffolding can be hurt by falling objects. Employees injured on a construction site are entitled to workers’ compensation and possibly can recover damages from other parties who contributed to causing the accident. If you or a family member has been hurt on a site, reach out to an experienced construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.

The lawyers of Feinberg & Alban PC in Boston have a decades-long track record of representing injured construction workers in Massachusetts and have results that are among the highest recoveries in Massachusetts. Call our office at 617-232-5950 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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