In well-developed urban centers like Chicago, expansion is often vertical. As buildings become taller, the challenges involved in erecting and maintaining them become a serious safety issue.
Tall buildings in Chicago create a well-known and beloved skyline while also providing plenty of office space for area businesses and housing for local residents. As a result of constant construction needs related to the ever-evolving creation and maintenance of that skyline, anyone in Chicago throughout the year could encounter scaffolding. Although native Chicagoans are generally aware of the need to steer clear of areas that are being worked on, sometimes tourists and others on the Chicago sidewalks end up hurt because of a scaffolding incident.
Scaffolding can collapse
Although construction workers and similar professionals trust scaffolding with their lives in many cases, a few mistakes, like forgetting to secure part of a platform, might compromise the structural integrity of an entire scaffolding installation.
When scaffolding collapses, any workers on the affected scaffolding could potentially suffer deadly injuries. Those nearby could also end up hurt if they get struck either by parts of the scaffolding or by workers who fall because of the scaffolding failure.
Scaffolding gaps lead to struck-by incidents
Even when the scaffolding itself remains structurally sound, people could end up hurt because of the large gaps on the average piece of scaffolding. Workers might drop tools or building materials off the side of the scaffolding, resulting in passers-by below suffering severe injuries.
Many people who live and work in Chicago recognize that they should give scaffolding plenty of room, especially if there are workers visibly present nearby or signage posted, although some will make mistakes because they see such signs daily. Tourists and other visitors to the area might take for granted that they can safely pass under scaffolding and could potentially end up hurt as a result.
Scaffolding failures may lead to injury claims
The company that installed the scaffolding might have liability for an incident involving a collapse, while a construction company or property owner could have liability in other scenarios involving injuries related to scaffolding at a property.
Oftentimes, there are commercial or premises liability insurance policies that apply to such claims. Those policies can help compensate people for medical expenses, property damage costs and even lost wages. Understanding how scaffolding can pose a risk to people in Chicago can help those who have been hurt on a recent visit determine if there is a reason to seek legal guidance and, possibly, pursue a personal injury claim.