When working on aerial lifts, workers are at risk of sustaining serious fall accidents and injuries if fall protection systems are not used.
There are two types of fall protection systems workers can use when working on aerial lifts. The first type is a restraint system which requires a worker to use a body belt or harness, lanyard and anchor. This type of restraint system prevents the workers from falling, and it is the preferred fall protection system.
The second type of fall protection system is the fall arrest system which uses a harness, lanyard and an anchor. This type of a fall protection system is not preferred because it exposes workers to falls, but stops the falls within specified parameters.
Fall accidents are not the only type of accident associated with aerial lifts. Aerial lifts may tip over and cause workers to fall out of the lift and/or get crushed by the aerial lifts.
Arial lift tip-over accidents are often caused by ground conditions. If the ground is uneven, aerial lifts may tip over once they are raised. For instance, once an aerial lift begins to raise the platform, it will increasingly become unstable the higher it goes if it is on uneven ground. As a result, the aerial lift is more likely to tip over. The worker on the platform or lift can then fall out and sustain serious injuries from the fall or from being crushed by the platform.
Aerial lifts often use outriggers and outrigger pads to stabilize the aerial lifts while in use, and the outrigger pads must be placed on even ground. Therefore, workers need to level all uneven ground conditions prior to placing outrigger pads.
Further, all ice and snow must also be removed from the ground prior to placing outrigger pads. If the ground is not a solid surface, aerial lifts may become uneven and tip over.
When workers are injured in aerial lift tip-over accidents at work, they can file a workers’ compensation claim to pay for their medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages.
In addition to workers’ compensation claims, injured workers may also have a claim against a third party. For example, if the aerial lift involved in a tip-over accident was defective, the injured worker may have a claim against the manufacturer of the aerial lift.
Therefore, it is important to talk to a construction accident lawyer who can determine other liable parties and help the injured worker recover the maximum recovery he is entitled to.
Call Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. at White and Williams to schedule a free no obligation consultation at 877.944.8396.