Scaffold Collapse Injures Four Construction Workers in South Jersey
On Wednesday, June 5 at 12:25 p.m., four construction workers performing masonry tasks on a building in Bordentown suffered serious injury when the scaffolding under them collapsed and they fell about 50 feet to the ground. According to NJ.com, the workers “were employed by Ben-Mar Construction of Waterford Works,” and the property is owned by “a company founded by former NFL wide receiver and Hamilton native Kevin Johnson.” Bordentown Police reported the workers “were taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton to be treated for ‘serious’ injuries.”
The report describes the property as the “74,653-square-foot TEAM Campus North building,” which was scheduled to open this fall at 115 Route 130. The site “is located across the highway from its sister site, TEAM85 Fitness & Wellness.” The acronym TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. The TEAM85 website describes the center as “a family friendly health club” which works “in conjunction with St. Francis Medical Center” to combine fitness with medical assessments.
The Bordentown Police reported that officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited the scene of the accident along with township construction officials. An OSHA investigation is important to determine whether safety violations related to scaffolding led to the collapse. When scaffolding fails, there are a number of possible reasons, such as:
- Careless assembly of the scaffolding
- Substandard materials used to construct scaffolding
- Excessive weight applied to the scaffolding
According to OSHA, about 2.3 million construction workers, who comprise 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Scaffold-related accidents account for roughly 4,500 injuries and more than 60 deaths every year. OSHA has extensive regulations regarding scaffolding in the construction industry, but unfortunately, these standards are among the most frequently violated, despite the obvious risk to worker safety when scaffolds are unsafe.
New Jersey does not have a strict liability scaffold law like New York’s Labor Law §240, which makes property owners liable for injuries due to unsafe scaffolding. But workers can sue for negligence for a scaffold collapse. Having a documented OSHA violation would strengthen the workers’ case, but still might not be definitive evidence of negligence that caused the collapse.
Because there are multiple parties involved — the property owner, the contractor, and the subcontractor that erects the scaffolding — proving the liability of one specific party can be a difficult task. Workers making a claim for their injuries, lost income, permanent disability, and their pain and suffering must rely on experienced construction injury attorneys to assist with their case.
Brach Eichler Trial Lawyers represents injured construction workers throughout New Jersey. Our legal team thoroughly investigates accidents to build a strong case that gets positive results.