Construction work is a dangerous field for several reasons, including the heavy equipment being used and incomplete structures that are being built. In some cases, equipment that is being used might not be properly maintained or installed, which can lead to construction accidents. For some construction workers, scaffolding is one piece of equipment that can lead to accidents.
Scaffolding accidents are some of the most common accidents, along with hoist accidents, lift accidents and ladder accidents. Because of the dangers associated with scaffolding, there are regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These regulations have to be followed by employees, employers and supervisors.
When installing or using scaffolding, it must be inspected to ensure that it is safe. The inspection has to be done by someone who is competent to inspect. In addition to when it is installed or used, the scaffolding also has to be inspected before each work shift, dismantled, moved or altered.
Other personal safety items, such as waist belts, harnesses and droplines, should be inspected before each use. If the item appears damaged or worn, it shouldn’t be used because of a risk of injury.
It is important for all workers to know some of the basic guidelines about the design and construction points of these scaffolds. Each component of a scaffold has to be able to support four times the intended maximum load plus its own weight. The exception to that is the suspension ropes. Each suspension rope has to be able to accommodate a weight equal to six times the intended maximum load.
When any points of safety aren’t complied with, the employer might be held liable if a worker gets injured.
Source: FindLaw, “Scaffold Injuries,” accessed April. 15, 2015