There are over 300 miles of scaffolding stacked up and criss-crossing the streets of New York City. We use them to build and repair buildings all across the 5 boroughs, from apartment buildings to schools. Across all of NYC, scaffolding can be seen across almost every neighborhood. Crumbling masonry and newer buildings dot the New York City streets, with over 7,800 projects using scaffolding. Scaffolds in New York can be stacked high along the lower stories of buildings, or lowered via pulley. But are these scaffolds really safe? What are the risks that construction companies take on by building scaffolds?
Dangers of Scaffolding
Scaffolds are supposed to be either attached to the ground with load bearing beams, or attached to the building itself. When the supporting systems fail or are weakened, the metal poles and wooden planks can come careening into the streets and sidewalk below. Additionally, workers who fall off of a scaffold can also be injured or killed by the fall.
Scaffolding inspection teams in NYC help builders determine if the construction of the scaffold is sufficient enough to be deemed safe. Scaffolding is inspected and regulated by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the safety of both workers and pedestrians.
Recent Issues with Scaffolding
In November of 2017, a scaffolding set up in SoHo collapsed as harsh winds buffeted the structure. The FDNY determined that the wood panels on the sides of the scaffolding caught wind similarly to a sail, which allowed for the structure to fall over. The incident injured 5 people. Following the event, the DOB has looked into tightening restrictions on scaffolding builds and the length of time that they are able to stay together before fines are given to the construction company.
Scaffold Injury Claims
Scaffolding injuries for pedestrians can be complex due to party liabilities, safety regulations, insurance, and engineering issues. For workers, personal liability and proper training can be factors for determining fault. New York Labor Law section 240, referred to as the “Scaffold Law,” was created to protect workers in the event of a injuries involving scaffolding issues. If you or a loved one is injured by a falling scaffold, speak with your injury lawyer as soon as possible.
For over 25 years, we have been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from Auto Accidents to Dog Bites. D’Agostino & Associates, P.C., and its affiliates do not provide legal advice by articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal advice. Call 1-888-24-LAW-24 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C.