Bucket trucks are aerial work platforms that use a platform or bucket attached to the end of a hydraulic lift system, which can lift the platform up to places that are difficult to reach by ladder.
They are typically attached to the end of the truck or other vehicles and are used for completing work in high places, such as on telephone wires, high building surfaces, treetops, and other comparable sites.
They are sometimes known as boom lifts, man lifts, cherry pickers, basket cranes, hydraladders, elevated work platforms, etc.
Bucket trucks are normally used to repair phone or power lines, clean windows, trim trees, paint, pick fruit, do construction-related work, and do other tasks.
They are often provided through an employer, or they can be bought or rented for personal use. Due to the nature of such equipment and the heights involved, they can be involved in various injury cases.
What Are Some Common Bucket Truck Accidents?
Bucket trucks are associated with some specific types of accidents. Some of them can be very serious in nature. The most standard type of bucket truck accident is electrocution.
There is a high risk of contact electrocution, wherein the bucket truck itself becomes part of a live circuit after meeting a live electricity conductor. Even an operator on the ground may be electrocuted if they meet the truck or with the truck’s controls.
Other typical bucket truck accidents include falls, where the individual standing on the platform falls out or is thrown from the device.
Defects with a bucket truck can also produce hazardous fall situations which place the user at risk of an injury. An instance of this is where a safety mechanism fails, causing the lift to crumple, resulting in a fall injury.
What Are Some Products Commonly Associated with Fall Hazards?
“Fall hazard” is a term used in product liability law to describe products that pose a risk of falling for the user or consumer. These are often products that involve the user sitting or riding on the product, placing them at an elevated height above the ground. Or, it can refer to dangers and risks that interfere with the individual’s walking, running, moving, or standing.
Products that create fall hazards can pose risks of serious injury. These injuries can include:
- Head and neck injuries;
- Back and spine injuries, as well as spine injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Joint injuries; or
- Various other injuries.
Are There Any Legal Remedies for Bucket Truck Accidents?
Bucket truck accidents can involve several different legal matters. These can range from product liability (for example, a defective lift mechanism) to work and employment-related problems.
In particular, an employer may sometimes incur liability for unsafe work environments (for example, if they knowingly allow a worker to use an unsafe lift).
Bucket truck accidents may result in a monetary damages award for the injured party in most circumstances. This can cover hospital and medical wages, lost wages, and other expenses.
What Is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known by its acronym “OSHA,” is a federal agency that operates under the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and is responsible for ensuring that workers are afforded clean, safe, and healthy working conditions.
Particularly, the federal agency enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “OSH Act”), one of the primary sources of law governing workplace conditions.
Aside from executing and implementing workplace safety regulations, there are several other ways that OSHA helps to ensure a safe working environment for employees in the United States, including:
- Conducting inspections in the workplace;
- Assisting workers with matters involving health and safety in the workplace; and
- Delivering training and educational resources to both employers and employees.
In addition to forbidding employers from adopting dangerous work practices, OSHA also provides specific rights to employees, such as shelter from employer retaliation when a worker files a complaint regarding hazardous working conditions.
To learn more about the rights and requirements of workers and employers covered by the OSH Act, you should speak to a local employment attorney for further guidance as soon as possible.
Who Is Covered by OSHA?
Whether or not OSHA covers an employer and workers will hinge on several elements. The two most significant elements in determining whether a worker has rights under OSHA or if an employer must be OSHA compliant are:
- The status of a worker; and
- The jurisdiction laws wherein an employer does business, or an employee works.
To clarify this info, consider the following OSHA coverage classifications:
- Federal government workers: All federal agencies must comply with OSHA standards. This means that federal agencies must enforce a health and safety program that provides safe working conditions and meets the same levels of protection afforded to workers in the private sector.
- State and local government employees: Workers employed at either a state or local government agency will not be protected by the federal statute. Nevertheless, they will receive protection if they work in a state that has an OSHA-approved plan.
- Private sector employees: Most employees in the private section are protected by the federal OSH Act or via a state plan that OSHA endorses. It should be noted that states must create programs that are either as practical as the one provided by the federal statute or even more stringent (e.g., California state OSHA laws). If a state has adopted its own program, state regulations will govern which types of employees the OSHA-approved state laws will affect.
Regardless of how an individual is classified, OSHA coverage extends to employees at every level of an organization, including managers, shareholders, supervisors, executives, etc.
What Rights Do I Have Under OSHA?
Employees who are covered under either federal or state OSHA regulations will be afforded specific rights, including the right to:
- Document an illness or injury thought to be caused by dangerous working conditions without worry of retaliation (e.g., termination, suspension, etc.);
- Work in a place that is free from dangerous machinery, other equipment, and extreme levels of exposure to toxic chemicals;
- Receive work safety equipment like gloves and goggles;
- File a request that OSHA perform an analysis of an unsafe or hazardous condition in the workplace;
- View reports of threats or dangers that an OSHA investigator has found;
- Refuse to work in a place of business that has unsafe or dangerous working conditions;
- Receive training and educational resources concerning compliance requirements with OSHA; and
- Request that an employer fixes any violations of OSHA standards.
- It should be noted that since states may also adopt OSHA regulations, there may be additional rights that employees are entitled to under the laws of the state in which they work.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Bucket Truck Accident?
Bucket truck accidents can result in severe injury or even death. You may need to hire a truck accident lawyer in your area if you need legal help or advice for an injury claim.
Your lawyer can provide you with assistance to determine what type of options you have. Also, your attorney will be able to provide representation if you need to attend any court meetings.
Use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for your needs today.