Construction sites are common in La Jolla and the surrounding communities along the California coastline. Whether it’s a new building or repairing older dwellings, some project always seems to be in the works.
However, these worksites have several hazards. And unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid them. How often has a city sidewalk been taken over by contractors giving a facelift to a storefront? Fortunately, California has several laws to promote safety on job sites to protect both workers and the public.
California’s scaffolding laws
Scaffolds must be provided for all work that can’t be done safely with a ladder, and there is no permanent structure at least 20 inches wide. Each scaffold must be designed to support its own weight and four times its intended load to prevent collapse. In addition, the scaffolding needs to be securely anchored to the structure.
There must be a guardrail system and some fall protection, such as tethering to the guardrail or a safety net, to prevent falls and catch debris that could injure someone walking nearby.
When a scaffolding accident does occur, it can be difficult to determine responsibility due to the multiple parties involved in a construction accident, such as:
- The construction company who is responsible for ensuring the safety of the public by preventing access to the worksite
- Scaffolding owners who had faulty equipment or didn’t install it correctly
- Scaffolding companies, with a design flaw or a defect in the manufacturing equipment
Victims of scaffolding accidents or their families should seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. It’s essential to work with someone who can help them prove their accident was due to someone else failing in their responsibility of ensuring their equipment was safe.