Construction Workers Are At Risk Of A Scaffold Injury

by Terry Bryant

Anyone who works around a scaffold knows serious injury is a constant threat, as even a brief lapse in oversight can put workers at serious risk around these support structures. Although they are most common in the construction industry, anyone that works around the outside of a building will have to climb on top of one at some point. It may be surprising to hear that most serious accidents are caused by support structures close to the ground, but even one or two story falls can be catastrophic.

Project managers, engineers, or other qualified professionals overseeing a work site are required to inspect the scaffold daily to prevent injury. Many accidents result from simple defects in the support, like a weakened work platform or loose side brackets or fastening pins. With regular inspections, these problems can be caught and fixed before they put anyone at risk. Unfortunately, this important safety check is often ignored, which is something workers may not be aware of until an accident occurs.

Most supports also have to be paired with additional safety measures to protect people working on the scaffolding. Reducing injury risk with fall arrest systems or protective guardrails is not optional in most settings, as they are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). Aerial lifts, float supports, catenary supports, boatswains’ chairs, ladder jack supports, and needle beam supports are among the designs that require a fall arrest system. The work platform must also be kept free of debris and any slick substance like oil, ice or snow.

Anyone harmed in an accident on or around a support structure should consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer. Negligence or inadequate inspections often cause these accidents, and a worker shouldn’t have to suffer because of a supervisor’s negligence.