According to 7 Online, a scaffolding accident near the Brooklyn Bridge was likely caused by wind. An experienced scaffolding accident lawyer knows wind can increase the dangers of working on scaffolding in New York City and can make it more likely that accidents will occur. Before a worker does any tasks on scaffolding when the weather is windy, it is essential to ensure that the conditions are safe for the work to be performed.
Wind Can Increase the Dangers of Working on Scaffolding
The recent scaffolding accident involved scaffolding located by a vacant building on Pearl Street in the downtown area of Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Bridge. The scaffolding ended up dangling dangerously over the street, putting motorists and pedestrians below the scaffolding at risk. The road had to be closed to ensure the scaffolding would not fall on anyone, and inspectors with the Department of Buildings came with a crane to help ensure the scaffolding was dealt with properly. The dangling scaffolding was secured with a rope until it could be safely removed.
Safeway reports that wind is a major issue when it comes to scaffolding safety. Scaffolding generally supports work platforms, which are vertical loads. Wind force imposes a horizontal pressure on the scaffolding and components. When this horizontal force is exerted, scaffolding can blow over unless it is tied, counter-weighted to resist the wind force, or guyed.
Wind can also product not just a positive pressure, but also a suction force or negative pressure on the opposite side of the source of the wind. This negative pressure can cause the scaffolding to pull away from the building where it is located. This is an especially big concern when scaffolding is partly enclosed or when the wind is blowing in a direction parallel to the run of scaffolding. Scaffold ties must be designed to withstand the force, which means ties must be designed to resist both tension loads and compressive loads.
Wind can cause uplift forces as well, which can result in the work planks on scaffolding blowing off if wind moves across the scaffold deck. This is the biggest risks to scaffolds that are used to enclose a structure with a roof and walls. Windows and door openings must be addressed when scaffolding is designed because of the possibility of wind coming through these openings and uplifting the planks.
Decking on sidewalk canopies and enclosed scaffolding adds to the potential dangers when that wind can present to scaffolding. An enclosed scaffolding can act as a sail that catches the wind and increases the horizontal force.
Scaffolding ties can help to ensure the wind does not cause a terrible accident with scaffolding, but an engineer should always be consulted when scaffolding is being designed to help reduce the chances of a wind-related accident. A trained and competent person should also be consulted before workers use scaffolding in windy weather.
If you have suffered a work injury in New York, contact the Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today by calling (800) 692-3717 or by visiting https://www.workerslaw.com.