New York is home to some very tall buildings, many of which are old and require routine maintenance and care. Older edifices could pose a danger to the public if their exterior features become weakened due to age or weather. Scaffolding and elevated platforms make it easier for workers to access the exterior of existing buildings or to perform new construction.

Unfortunately, external platforms and scaffolding are also a major source of risk to construction workers. Some companies may reuse scaffolding materials until they are rickety and unsafe. Other companies may pressure workers to get out and work on scaffolding when weather conditions make it unsafe. Sometimes, in an emergency situation, scaffolding can collapse.

Scaffolding issues arise for all kinds of reasons and can cause serious construction accidents. Sadly, the end result in scaffolding failures of all varieties is often injury or death for the workers involved.

The failure of an elevated platform recently led to a scaffolding collapse

New York recently witnessed a tragic failure of an elevated platform at a construction site which subsequently led to a scaffolding collapse. On Thursday, July 16, 2020, multiple workers at a Murray Hill construction site wound up hurt when an elevated platform used for exterior access suddenly fell, causing scaffolding to collapse. Three workers wound up suffering injuries as a result of the incident, and one worker lost his life.

This tragic incident is still under review, but there is no question that the workers involved and their loved ones will have to suffer the consequences of this incident for months if not years. The family that lost a loved one to that incident will have to deal with a sudden loss of income and the personal effects of the death of a loved one.

The surviving workers may have injuries that keep them from getting back on the job site for the rest of the season. Some injured workers have to find a new profession if their injury results in a permanent disability, which could mean lower earning potential.

Workers’ compensation protects workers and their families

Although it would be much better if scaffolding failures and similar construction accidents didn’t occur, it’s important for people to know that there are protections in place when they do happen. The workers’ compensation program in New York covers medical costs for hurt workers, provides wage replacement through disability benefits and supports family members with benefits if they lose a loved one because of a construction accident like a scaffolding or platform failure.