New York Scissor Lift Accident Lawyer
In New York, many industries may require an employee to be moved into a higher position by a scissor lift. Scissor lifts raise workers vertically and bring them back down carefully. These machines get their name from the scissor-like motion the beams make while in motion.
If you were injured in a scissor lift accident, call Hill & Moin today. We understand you are worried about how you will be able to take care of yourself and your family during this difficult time. You need a team of experienced attorneys at your side, so choose us. We have devoted over 40 years of our lives to helping our clients get the legal representation they deserve.
Call Hill & Moin today at (212) 668-6000 for a free case evaluation. There is no fee unless you win.
Scissor Lift Accident Statistics
The CDC’s website has a section on aerial lifts where it lists accident statistics that happened between 2011 and 2014. Scissor lifts are used in a variety of job sites, including construction, warehousing, and maintenance.
Here are some statistics listed by the CDC for during that period:
- Falls kill at least 200 construction workers every year
- Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers
- 1,380 workers were injured operating a lift and 360 of those injuries resulted from a fall
Scissor Lift OSHA Warning
In 2016, OSHA released a publication called “Hazard Alert: Working Safely with Scissor Lifts.” In this guide, it was revealed that the agency investigated 30 accidents in 1 year which all proved to be completely preventable. Nevertheless, 20 led to injuries and 10 were fatal. Each of these incidents sadly resulted from employers who did not address three important safety components.
The three common areas neglected by employers included:
- Fall protection
Proper Safety Steps All Employers Must Take
It is the responsibility of employers to ensure they take safety seriously. This includes using scissor lifts that are used to lift an employee to a high position within a building. Failing to do so can dramatically increase the risk of injuries or even death.
The steps employers should take to ensure the safe use of a scissor lift include:
- Training workers on how to use the scissor lift
- Setting safety procedures and practices for employees
- Putting fall protection features in place for each scissor lift
- Making sure each scissor lift is ready for use
- Maintaining and repairing scissor lifts
- Giving workers adequate personal protection
- Providing stable and safe locations to use the lift
- Ensuring workers follow all instructions given by the lift’s manufacturer
Common Scissor Lift Accident Causes
While falls are the main threat that causes the most worker injuries and death, there are other common causes. Lifts are mobile and force a worker into a limited workspace. Below are several of the most common causes of New York scissor lift accidents.
A worker can be injured or killed by a defective scissor lift. The computer system can malfunction, and wires can fray. This can lead to an unsecured machine that puts others at risk. Employers can avoid these issues with regular checking and proper maintenance when issues come up. Even then, you never know when a piece of equipment will decide to stop working.
Misuse of the machine
Scissor lift operators who do not know what they are doing can cause a whole host of problems. It is not uncommon for workers to be trapped or crushed against objects like walls, trees, or bridges. Everyone who uses a scissor lift should be OSHA certified to prevent anyone from getting hurt. Regular misuse of the machine can also cause it to malfunction and become defective.
Machine tipping over
One threat to scissor lift users is a tip-over. These vehicles are quite narrow and can be overloaded or improperly balanced. This is especially common since these machines are used outside in a variety of weather conditions and on unstable ground. It is important to always check with the lift’s manual to ensure it is used properly, both indoors and out.
Falling off the lift
Workers who fall off the scissor lift experience the most fatalities and serious injuries. These terrifying accidents happen when operators are careless, negligent, or perhaps failing to use proper restraints. It is recommended by OSHA that anyone who operates a scissor lift must use a safety harness. Workers should also keep from reaching beyond the guardrails of the machine and risk falling out.
Not following operational guidelines
There are several operational guidelines scissor lift operators in New York need to follow for safe use. The first is the manufacturer’s manual so workers know how to work the machine. The second is the employer’s safety guidelines so workers know how to properly use the machine in the context of their jobs. Paired with training and certification of workers, the workspace can be safe and accident-free. Failing to follow the guidelines can lead to misuse of the lift.
Being trapped on the lift
Workers who do not know how to properly operate the scissor lift can result in the user being trapped or pinned against objects. It is important to ensure all potential hazards are recognized before using. An operator can be trapped against bridges, trees, walls, and other objects, causing injuries and even death.
One of the first tasks a scissor lift operator should do is to survey the ground where the lift will be placed. Stable ground is essential to the process if workers want to stay safe. This is important for all outside work. Construction sites are notorious for unstable, muddy ground that can put a scissor lift operator at risk.
Electrical wires, including power lines, can be a serious threat to scissor lift workers. The metal box can meet an exposed wire and cause electrocution. It is recommended that anyone who needs to operate a lift near power lines receives extra training.
New York scissor lift accidents can happen at any site. If a company’s negligence led to you being injured while working on any aerial platform, call Hill & Moin today.
Who is Liable After a Scissor Lift Accident?
If a scissor lift incident causes a worker’s injuries, there may be multiple parties who can be found responsible. There is a full chain of distribution where any defects should be found before the lifts are used. New York has state-specific guidelines on how liable cases can be handled. A scissor lift accident lawyer can help you through the process.
There may be two or more parties you can sue for compensation, to make sure all your losses are covered. Some of the factors that go into identifying these potentially liable parties are listed below.
During the design and manufacturing process, sometimes it can be difficult to find a product’s every flaw. A flaw may not be understood until an accident happens. The designer may or may not fix any known defects. Any of these situations can be considered negligence.
Failure to warn
If a product can be dangerous and does not warn users of that danger, the manufacturer might be held responsible. There should be proper labeling of all potential dangers that can lead to workers injuring themselves or dying. Failing to do constitutes a failure to warn.
If you were injured on the job, your employer’s actions or inaction might be the main reason why. Employers are responsible for providing any safety guidelines enforced by OSHA. They must also make sure not to put you in a situation or role that you are not fully trained and qualified to handle.
Many employers attempt to skirt the rules or skimp on maintaining their machines to save money. If these circumstances fit your case, you may be able to sue the responsible company for negligence.
Once a product is designed, it goes to the factory to be manufactured. The design might be fine, but the manufacturer may not uphold their responsibility to build a safe product. They may decide to use cheap materials or fail to properly test the machines they built. Unfortunately, many manufacturing defects cause injuries and deaths every year.
What to Do After a New York Scissor Lift Accident?
After you have been injured in a scissor lift accident, you may be confused and worried about your future. Your medical bills are piling up and you have missed plenty of time at work. You may decide you want to sue for compensation.
What are a few things you can do to help the process? This list below may be helpful.
Get medical attention
To win a personal injury case, you need to have evidence that you were injured in a scissor lift accident. Without a record of injuries, compensation may be difficult to attain. Even if you feel fine at the moment, go see your doctor anyway to get checked out. Adrenaline has a way of masking some injury symptoms, so your condition may be worse than you think.
Follow your doctor’s orders
Along with having a record of injuries, you must also follow any treatment plan your doctor has for you. It is not uncommon for the insurance company to assert that a worker made his own injuries worse by failing to seek treatment or follow a doctor’s recommendation. They want to avoid responsibility for your current condition. If you caused your own pain and suffering, they may not be liable.
Call Hill & Moin right away
Before a lawsuit is presented in court, it may be best to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Hill & Moin has been handling a wide range of New York construction accidents for over 40 years. Our clients trust us when it comes to negotiating settlements and fighting on their behalf.
Call Hill & Moin today at (212) 668-6000 for a free consultation to learn about the Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ designed to meet your needs. There is no fee unless you win.
Don’t wonder about your rights!