Falls Caused by Equipment Failure
Whenever human beings are tasked with working from great heights, a tragic fall is always possible. This is why it is essential for all employers who put their workers in high, dangerous places to perform their due diligence to ensure they are not taking unnecessary risks with their employees’ lives. Improper fall protection results in deaths every year, so if you or a loved one were harmed by faulty equipment while working, contact a personal injury attorney from the Cambridge law firm of Altman & Altman LLP today.
According to OSHA data, fatalities caused by falls from height are among the top 10 most common workplace fatalities and can happen across a wide range of professions – from roofing and construction jobs to industrial loggers and painters.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, in a count of fatal falls from height occurring in the private construction industry between 2003 and 2013, the most common height for fatal falls happened at heights of 30 feet or more. Falls from such height are expectedly severe, however falls from 11 to 20 feet also accounted for a large portion of deaths as well. Thirty-two people even suffered fatal injuries from falls at heights of less than six feet.What Caused Your Fall From Height?
Workers must rely on various implementations to get them up to heights where they work. These implements can include ladders, scissor-lifts and other types of elevating platforms like hydraulic “cherry-pickers” or assembled or pre-constructed scaffolding.
In other cases, workers may simply have to climb to a specific floor of a building and rely on a harness to keep them secure to an anchor point in order to work while high in the air. With any of these implementations, a malfunction is possible and can result in a serious fall, leading to a tragic injury or even an untimely death.
Workers must be able to have confidence that the tools they utilize during their job will keep them safe from harm. Some examples of malfunctions leading to falls could include:
- A roofer is climbing a ladder with hands full of shingles needed to finish a job, and gets up towards the final rung of the ladder when the locking mechanism of his company-supplied ladder fails. It turns out the ladder wasn’t properly inspected for this safety implementation to be functioning, leading to a fall.
- A construction worker must utilize scaffolding units to reach a brick building façade that needs to be redone. The scaffolding holds strong but the anti-slip surface has eroded after years of use and no attempt to remediate the danger has been made by the company. Recent rains have made the scaffolding slick and the construction workers slips and falls three stories.
- A tree trimmer utilizes a hydraulic lift to reach a tall tree and begins cutting a branch. However, the lift was not checked for leaks in the hydraulic lines and suffers a total failure, causing the lift to suddenly and violently fall to the ground, resulting in grave injuries.
In all of these instances, the workers would have legitimate personal injury claims. If the worst occurred, family members would have grounds for a wrongful death suit as well. Companies have an obligation to ensure the equipment they provide to their employees has been rigorously checked for safety, especially when those safety precautions are intended to save lives.
At Altman & Altman LLP, we have over 50 years of experience advocating on behalf of our clients who were injured or whose loved ones suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of employers that don’t take their responsibilities to ensure safe workplaces seriously enough. We understand that a fall from height can result in serious physical injuries and lasting psychological trauma, all of which means big hospital and recovery bills in addition to being unable to work.
If you feel you have a legitimate case for a personal injury claim, contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.