When you are walking down the street in New York, you see a copious amount of scaffolding on the buildings. When buildings are repaired, scaffolding is put up to support work crews as well as shield pedestrians below from potential hazards like falling bricks and equipment and even exposure to dust particles from the work being done.
Sometimes, scaffolding remains in place for months, even years. This could change if a proposed bill sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos is passed, which would require scaffolding to be taken down within six months of being placed. Ideally, this would not only reduce the structures that many consider to be an eyesore, it would reduce the number of construction accidents suffered by pedestrians.
Why Can Scaffolding Remain Up for Months at a Time?
As a representative of the Rent Stabilization Association stated, the proposed bill does not consider the time and money that building projects can require. In some cases, building repairs and renovations can take months or years and millions of dollars to complete, meaning that scaffolding needs to remain in place if it is needed. Kallos stated that the bill would allow for scaffolding to remain in place beyond six months in cases of delayed permits, inclement weather, or other issues that would make removing scaffolding a public safety hazard.
Is Scaffolding a Safety Hazard to Pedestrians?
Although scaffolding is often cited as form of protection for pedestrians, some argue that it puts pedestrians at risk. Scaffolds often attract trash, pigeons, and homeless individuals, all of which hurt businesses and can create safety hazards for pedestrians. Scaffolding can also force pedestrians to walk in the street, putting them at risk of being hit by cars and buses. There have been numerous cases published about the safety hazards scaffolding can create, such as the 2007 incident of a police officer who slammed into a pole in the dark and suffered injuries while pursuing a criminal suspect.
Although there are not currently published statistics about pedestrian scaffolding accidents in New York available online, The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) maintains statistics about scaffolding injuries suffered by construction workers. 2.3 million construction workers in the United States work on scaffolds, and 72 percent of construction workers injured in scaffolding-related accidents suffered when their scaffolding planking or support failed or when they slipped or were struck by falling objects.
Work with an Experienced Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer
Scaffolding is everywhere in New York City. If you have been injured by falling debris, unsecured support, or any other hazard that would not have been present if scaffolding had not been, speak with an experienced construction accident lawyer about your rights as an injury victim and what you can do to seek compensation for your damages. Contact The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum today at 718-237-5586 to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.