Mast climbers, or rather, workers who spend their days on motorized scaffolding systems, first began appearing on the construction scene around 1983. A decade later, they were a familiar sight in cities with tall skylines, such as New York and Philadelphia. When the recession struck in the year 2008, however, many of the high-rise buildings that were scheduled to be built were either canceled or put on hold.
Flash-forward to today and with the construction industry on the rebound, builders are once again relying on these mast climbing work platforms and the mast climbers that work on them. Although the platforms are easy to place and dismantle, they are generally considered safe, but workers do require a special type of training to operate them.
Unfortunately, although the platforms have made the work on construction sites much easier for workers who no longer have to carry heavy loads on their shoulders and back, since the platforms are often raised hundreds of feet in the air, falls from these types of scaffolding are almost always fatal. Sadly, a report by the Center for Construction Research and Training back in December of 2010, reported that there were at least 12 accidents that involved mast climbers from 1990 to 2010 and that a total of 18 of these workers actually died. Sadly, the most common type of construction deaths are from falls and in many cases, these fall are from between 40 to 85 feet.
Individuals who have lost a loved one due to a scaffolding fall may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one. They may find it beneficial to learn more about their legal rights as it pertains to their particular case.
Source: The News and Observer, “Scaffolding collapse points up risks, lack of OSHA rules,” Martha Quillin, June 11, 2015