Scissor Lift Construction Injuries
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tom Metier with Metier Law Firm.
While attention to and enforcement of industry safety regulations can greatly mitigate the physical risk faced by construction workers, some pieces of machinery are more likely to cause injury than others. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over a three-year span, 1,480 workers were injured and 87 workers died as a result of operating aerial and scissor lifts. Of those deaths, 48 occurred as the result of slip and falls or trip and falls from one level to another. Falls are generally considered the first and worst of construction site accidents. If you or a loved one were injured in a scissor lift accident, talk to a workplace injury attorney about your options for physical and financial recovery.
An aerial work platform or “scissor lift” allows people to work or reach things at heights usually ranging from 20 to 40 feet.
Whenever work is happening at an elevated height, there is a risk of falls. The severity of the injuries tend to increase with height, but even a fall from a short height can result in traumatic injuries. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presents the following advice for employers to enforce scissor lift safety:
- Only trained workers should be allowed to use a scissor lift.
- Trained workers should be able to exhibit competency with the lift.
- A guardrail system should be in place and working properly.
- Workers should only stand on the platform and never the guardrails.
- The scissor-lift should always be positioned within easy reach of the work being done.
- Choose locations with firm, level surfaces to use the lift.
- Avoid using a scissor lift in heavy wind or rain.
- Follow all instructions accompanying the scissor lift in regard to maintaining stabilization and prevent tipping
- Train workers to look out for power lines, door frames, support beams, and anything else which could create a crushing hazard.
- Test and inspect control and machinery before each use, including guardrails and brakes.
Failure to follow any of the above or additional OSHA regulations for scissor lift safety could result in serious, life-changing, and even fatal injuries. Additionally, when any injury occurs due to the negligence of the employer—such as failure to train workers in and enforce safety protocol—they open themselves up to liability in the form of a personal injury lawsuit, potentially in addition to workers’ compensation benefits.
Common injuries sustained in scissor lift accidents may include the following:
- Broken bones
- Hip fractures
- Head or neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crushed-by injuries
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a scissor lift accident, talk to a workplace injury attorney. These attorneys generally offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t be required to pay unless they win your case. These attorneys can help navigate your workers’ compensation program and even a personal injury claim if applicable. To learn more about scissor lift accidents or for help filing a claim, talk to a construction accident attorney sooner rather than later.