In addition to defective hand and power tools, safety and work equipment can malfunction, too. Many people know that high winds or bad weather can cause ladders or scaffolding to malfunction or collapse. But, people do not realize that the manufacturers themselves are often at fault because they released a defective product. Railings or steps may have latches and connectors that are known to fail, yet many times this defective equipment is still sold to the public.
There are plenty of cases where scaffolding or ladders collapse or otherwise fail with workers on top; sometimes with tragic results. In May 2008, two painters were killed and another one injured in New Jersey when their scaffolding collapsed. There is an ongoing investigation into the incident to determine whether their equipment was defective. In late October of 2008, two workers were injured when their scaffolding collapsed against a building in Chicago. They were both taken to the hospital in serious to critical condition.
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