Scaffolding Accidents & Injury Compensation
Scaffolding is a common sight in the UK and wherever you live in the UK there's always construction work, renovation or painting and decorating going on, with workers using scaffolding to help them reach high places. But working at a height, using scaffolding, puts workers' lives in danger if adequate safety measures are not in place or if scaffolds have not been designed or constructed properly.
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The majority of workers who use scaffolding are kept safe by responsible employers who follow regulations such as the Work At Height Regulations and protect their employees from the risks associated with working at height, but some employers do not take these regulations seriously.
In the UK alone, many thousands of people are injured due to faulty or defective scaffolding, insecure bracing or shoddy construction, and around 50 people are killed every year in falls from scaffolding or when scaffolds collapse. This is so sad when you consider that these injuries and deaths could have been prevented.
In 2009, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) released a press release warning of the need to ensure that scaffolding is "properly erected, secure and safe" after it prosecuted two companies over an incident in Wales.
The incident happened at a building site next to Aberystwyth Railway Station in February 2005. On that morning, a three level high and 52 metre long section of scaffolding collapsed, falling on to the railway line. Just minutes before the incident, workers had been using the scaffolding but fortunately no one was on it at the time of collapse. Even though workers and members of the public could have been at risk of serious injury, nobody was actually hurt in the incident.
The HSE carried out a thorough investigation and found that neither of the companies involved in constructing the scaffolding had worked out, through calculations, whether the scaffolding was strong enough or stable enough to be put up. The companies had also failed to inspect it after it had been constructed. This negligence had put both workers and members of the public at risk.
The HSE have a Scaffold Checklist Guide to help companies know when scaffold design is required and what training and competence those putting up scaffolding need to have. There really is no excuse for putting up unsafe scaffolding.
Employers who don't take adequate safety precautions are not only putting workers and the public at risk, they are also losing time and money when a scaffold collapse causes work to be stopped.
Britain and Europe have high standards regarding scaffolding and government bodies like the HSE are there to ensure that companies do stick to these standards and regulations. However, the HSE can't be everywhere looking at every piece of scaffolding and accidents do happen.
Making a claim following a Scaffolding Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a fall from scaffolding, you may be able to make a personal injury claim if you can prove that your accident was the fault of somebody else. If your injuries happened as the result of unsafe scaffolding, defective scaffolding, a lack of safety equipment or some other breach of regulation, then you will have a good chance of winning compensation for your accident and injuries.
A fall from a height can have devastating effects, leaving you in pain, with long-term health problems and perhaps unable to work. You deserve to be compensated for your suffering and for your expenses and lost earnings, so seek the advice of a specialist personal injury solicitor as soon after the accident as possible. Most personal injury lawyers can work on a no win no fee basis and will be able to put together a case on your behalf.
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