Scaffolds, lifts, ladders or hoists are involved in some of the most common accidents on a construction site. When employees fall from improperly installed, defective or unsafe scaffolds, the injuries are often catastrophic. Who, though, is responsible for scaffolds on a construction site?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific regulations to deal with scaffolds on work sites. For example, each rope used to suspend a scaffold must support six times the max load — at a minimum.

The employers on work sites are advised by OSHA to have all scaffold and scaffold pieces inspected before each shift by a competent person before the equipment is used. A competent person should also be present to supervise whenever scaffolds are erected, dismantled, altered or moved.

Before harnesses, lanyards, body belts, anchorage points, droplines and trolley lines should also be inspected before each use. Any equipment that shows signs of damage or wear should immediately be removed from service.

When a worker is injured in a scaffold accident, there can be many complex issues that he or she must deal with. Liability for the accident and compliance with OSHA’s regulations are two top concerns — right after getting medical treatment. While Illinois workers’ compensation may cover an injured worker, a third party lawsuit may be possible if it is determined that someone or another entity besides the worker’s employer was at fault.

When dealing with such complex cases, it’s important to have the right legal advice. An experienced attorney can help by providing you with information on the most current laws and how they apply to your case.

Source: FindLaw, “Scaffold Injuries,” accessed Jan. 07, 2016