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How Safe Is Scaffolding?

February 3, 2021
construction scaffold

If you spend any amount of time in New York City, you are well acquainted with the sight of scaffolding above you – and sometimes, far above you. In order to continue building and repairing structures, construction companies must erect scaffolding to support their workers, but how safe is all that scaffolding that you see everywhere you look in the city? According to several recent scaffolding accident reports, it’s probably not as safe as it should be. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident, it’s time to consult with an accomplished NYC scaffolding accident attorney.

Window Washers Plummet 15 Stories

In November 2020, two window washers (one man in his 20s and the other in his 30s) were working outside the 50th floor of a building on a Hudson Yards site when their supporting scaffolding malfunctioned and plummeted 15 stories to the 35th floor. Because responders couldn’t reach the workers from this height, firefighters cut a hole through a window on the 37th floor and quickly retrieved them. The two workers were rushed by paramedics to the hospital, and they are both expected to make a complete recovery. The reason behind the accident was not disclosed.

Scaffold Collapse Injures Four

In November 2020, four construction workers who were at work on the 18th floor of a 58-story building on a Hudson Yards site were injured when their scaffolding collapsed. The collapse from the 18th to the 17th floor occurred when a load of material was delivered to the scaffolding. All four of the workers were taken to the hospital, and fortunately, none of them sustained any serious injuries. The Department of Buildings (DOB) relayed that the scaffolding’s cross-bracing was inadequate and issued the contractor a violation for failure to safeguard workers (along with an order to repair the scaffolding).

Two Construction Workers Left Dangling

A scaffolding collapse in October 2020 in Lower Manhattan left two construction workers dangling right along with the scaffolding (which was angled nearly straight down). The operation to save the two workers took about 40 minutes and involved all of the following steps:

  • The FDNY loaded safety lines to the trapped workers, which helped to secure them.
  • The FDNY provided the workers with communication links.
  • The FDNY cut several windows in the building in order to rescue the workers.
  • The FDNY pulled the two workers into the 20th floor via their safety harnesses.

Neither of the workers accepted medical treatment, and the incident involved no reported injuries. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. All three of these accidents help highlight exactly how dangerous and terrifying scaffolding accidents can be – and how prevalent they are.

Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced New York City Scaffolding Accident Attorney Today

The well-respected New York City scaffolding accident lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman have a remarkable decades-long track record of successfully guiding claims like yours toward just resolutions. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 for more information today.


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