Scaffolding Collapses and Injury Compensation in South Carolina

Get the Help You Need Now
Contact Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm
Free Consultation
★★★★★ Google 300+ Google Reviews

South Carolina construction workers are called upon to perform dangerous tasks each day that they come to work. Many will use dangerous machinery, while others may be asked to work high off the ground.

When construction workers are performing their jobs at elevation, the scaffolding structures they stand on may not be entirely safe.

Scaffolding is prone to collapse. If you have been injured in a scaffolding collapse as a construction worker, you should hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your options for obtaining financial compensation. There may be a chance that you can file a third-party lawsuit to receive compensation for negligence.

Our lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton can review your case and help you determine your path forward.

Many Construction Employees Are Perched High Off the Ground on Scaffolding

Most construction employees will use scaffolding at some point in their jobs. Scaffolding is erected specifically for the construction project, either by the contractor or a third party who may choose to complete the task.

A construction contractor may need to erect a temporary structure that supports a worker and allows them to work on higher levels. Scaffolding, for example, is usually needed to reach the upper floors to build a structure or make repairs.

Some forms of scaffolding can reach as high as 150 feet into the air. Since the structures are temporary, a contractor may cut corners to build them quickly in the name of productivity.

However, it is the construction worker who ends up paying the price due to the risks to their safety.

Scaffolding Statistics Show a High Rate of Accidents

Employees must be provided with the safest possible environment, and employers do everything in their power to protect their employees and keep them from being hurt.

Each year, there are roughly 4,500 scaffolding injuries on work sites. An average of 50 construction workers will die each year in these accidents.

Falls from height are one of the most dangerous injury-causing accidents that construction workers may suffer on a job site.

Unfortunately, scaffolding is also prone to collapsing at a work site. In our experience, either the contractor or others on the work site cut corners when building the scaffolding, or the scaffolding itself could be defective and prone to collapse.

Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

Causes of scaffolding collapses include:

  • Inadequate maintenance of the scaffold
  • Improperly constructing the scaffolding
  • Too much weight on the scaffolding
  • Workers who have not been given the proper safety training
  • Something else collided with the scaffolding, causing it to collapse
  • Lack of personal protective equipment that would secure workers in place
  • Employees are sent to work on the scaffolding in adverse weather conditions, including when it is raining or otherwise slippery

OSHA Closely Regulates Scaffolding Safety

OSHA has an extensive set of regulations that govern scaffolding, especially in light of the danger that it poses. The agency recognizes that employees who are working at heights are in great peril, and it wants employers to do everything within their power to keep workers safe.

OSHA scaffolding regulations touch on a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Providing personal protective equipment to keep working safely (any worker more than ten feet off the ground needs a fall arrest system)
  • Training employees on safely working on scaffolding
  • The proper positioning of steps on the scaffolding
  • The ability of the scaffolding to withstand tipping
  • The ratio of weight on the scaffolding

When employers violate OSHA regulations, they cannot be sued, but they can be subject to enforcement actions.

If you believe that your employer is breaking the rules regarding scaffolding safety, you can report them anonymously to OSHA, which could then begin an investigation. OSHA could levy fines against your employer. In extreme cases, it could even shut the employer down for some time.

How to Get Compensation After a Scaffolding Injury Accident

Your lawyer’s job is to help you maximize your financial compensation after an injury on the job.

When you have been injured at work in a scaffolding accident, your most likely legal remedy is to file a workers’ compensation claim.

A workers’ comp claim does not require you to prove that someone else was negligent in the actions before the scaffolding accident. You may even be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you were at fault yourself for the accident.

However, a workers’ compensation claim also results in lower payments to you than if you filed a successful lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney would at least examine facts and evidence to help you determine whether there is anyone that you can sue.

In most cases, you are not allowed to sue your employer in a personal injury case under South Carolina law. The fact that your employer has purchased workers’ compensation insurance protects them from really all personal injury lawsuits. The only way that you can file a negligence-based lawsuit is against a third party.

Numerous potential third parties at a construction site may be liable in a lawsuit, including:

  • The contractor who was hired to build the scaffolding at the job site (construction contractors often outsource this job to specialized companies who have the resources and experience to complete the task)
  • Another contractor who was working at the job site
  • The company that manufactured the scaffolding, if it was defective

Contact Our South Carolina Attorneys After a Scaffolding Accident Today

If you have been injured on the job from a scaffolding collapse or fall, you should contact an experienced construction accident attorney at Schiller & Hamilton to learn more about your legal rights. Our lawyers will review your case and help determine your most effective course of legal action.

Taking the first step is up to you. Call us today at 843-379-5006 or send us a message online to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. You owe us nothing unless you win by receiving a settlement or jury award.

Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm

We’ve Got Your Back
Call Us for a Free Case Evaluation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.