What are proper procedures to avoid a scaffolding accident?

People who work in construction in Saginaw and throughout the state understand the risks of their chosen vocations when they take the jobs. There’s an inherent danger for a construction worker accident when there is heavy machinery, large tools, significant heights at which the workers are stationed, and other factors that are imperative when working in the construction industry. Scaffolds are often needed to complete various forms of work.

There are safety requirements that companies should adhere to to avoid incidents, but they’re sometimes ignored or not completed correctly, leading to serious accidents, injuries and deaths. More than two million workers are on scaffolds over the course of a year. Studies have indicated that if the scaffolds are safe and worker safety procedures are followed, 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths would be avoided on an annual basis. There are many factors that go into accidents such as instability, unsound structuring of the scaffold and competence when it is put together.

The scaffold must be able to carry its weight and four times the load it will sustain without movement or shifting. The ground underneath it must be solid. Objects that are not stable, such as boxes, barrels, bricks and blocks must not be used as the foundation of the scaffold. It must not be built without a person or persons who are aware of the proper and safe procedures of its construction. There must be guardrails and other protective devices to prevent falls. If any accessory of the scaffold becomes compromised or damaged, it must be replaced immediately. It needs to use only scaffold grade planks. Proper inspections of the scaffold must be conducted by a competent person. The scaffold must be a minimum of ten feet away from electrical power lines. Items that might fall from the scaffold must be secured.

Workers who are under the belief that the scaffold they’re working on is safe or those who are unaware of the correct safety procedures that must be followed might not even realize that a scaffolding fall, injury or fatality occurred because of some form of negligence. If there was a scaffolding accident, those who suffered injuries or families of a person who died should understand the safety rules for a scaffold. An investigation must be conducted to determine whether or not there were mistakes made and the case may be discussed with an experienced legal professional.

Source: osha.gov, “Worker Safety Series – Scaffolding,” accessed on Feb. 23, 2015