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Scaffolding Construction Accidents

When working in the construction industry scaffolding accidents become an occupational hazard. Jobs within the construction industry are extremely dangerous. Every year in the U.S thousands of construction workers suffer construction related injuries. Some of these injuries are sustained while construction workers are occupying scaffoldings. Accidents involving scaffoldings are quite common. Improper installation, poor maintenance, and incorrect use by workers are a few causes of these accidents. and  Most scaffolding accidents are preventable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) set standards for constructions sites designed to ensure the safety of workers. These standards often include safety procedures site requirements. Unfortunately these protocols and safety procedures are not enforced on all construction sites.

So, exactly what are the most common causes of scaffolding accidents?

1. Slips and trips

When construction workers occupy a scaffolding they usually do so in the presence of tools and other materials. Most scaffoldings have extremely narrow pathways. When these narrow pathways are obstructed by tools it becomes increasingly difficult for a worker to navigate his/her away around the area. One minor slip or trip can lead to a disastrous accident. If a worker were to slip and trip on leveled ground and not suspended in the air they may not suffer serious injuries. However, when suspended in the air a minor slip or trip can result in more serious injuries.In some cases stationary toe boards are set close to the entrance of scaffolding platforms. The purpose of these toe boards are to prevent tripping hazards.

2. Failing platforms

When platforms are installed they must meet certain requirements and regulations before workers can work on them. Unfortunately, not all construction sites adhere to these requirements and regulations. Even if a platform is properly installed work completed around the scaffolding can cause damage. Falling objects or collisions may loosen guardrails or weaken platforms. After installation, if a platform is not properly maintained this can be the cause of fatal accidents. Loose screws or weakened wires should always be taken care of or replaced. Routine inspections should always be completed by an expert.

3. Falling objects

When a construction worker is operating a scaffolding there may be construction happening overhead. Falling objects are another common cause of these accidents. Loose debris, construction tools, and other equipment can all land on workers. For this reason, OHSA has set in place procedures to secure safety of workers. Hard hats are required on job sites. Also, barricades are sometimes set up to deflect falling objects and protect workers. In addition to hard hats and barricades OHSA often requires guardrails, screens, nets, or canopies to be installed.

Injury from scaffolding accidents can range from traumatic brain injury to less serious injuries like sprained ankles.

If you have suffered injuries from a scaffolding accident feel free to contact us at Colley and Colley.