Scaffolds are used often in a variety of construction projects; however these common pieces of construction site equipment can pose serious danger to workers.
The JereBeasley Report included a look at the hazards involved with construction scaffolds in their most recent report. In this, they stated that 65-percent of all construction workers use scaffolding in their daily work. However, according to safety experts, there are approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities linked to scaffold accidents each year.
Scaffold Accidents on Construction Sites
Some of the types of scaffold accidents that may occur are listed below:
- Falls from heights
- Slip and fall accidents
- Collapse of the scaffold
- Electrocution of a construction worker
- Falling objects hitting construction workers
Preventing Scaffold Accidents
The dangers related to scaffold accidents can be controlled. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Construction Regulations, when there is compliance to the regulations, the risk of accident is less.
The JereBeasley Report included an outline of some of the different situations on construction sites that can result in accidents and how the regulations help to prevent accidents. We review a condensed version below:
Height Related Scaffold Injuries
- Scaffolds should be equipped with guardrail systems
- Platforms should be tightly planked
- Scaffolds can be accessed by using stairwells and stairways, not climbing braces
Slip and Fall Scaffold Injuries
- Scaffolds with snow, ice, or other slippery materials should not be accessed by workers
- Slope of scaffold should not be greater than 1 in 8
- Stairways should have slip-resistant treads
Collapses of Scaffold Injuries
- Base plates must be used
- The scaffold should be sound, rigid, and be able to carry own weight plus 4X the max intended load
- All accessories that are damaged or weakened should be repaired immediately
- Scaffolds should be inspected at intervals
- Scaffolds should be tied to adjacent structure at intervals
- Rope used in suspension should be protected from heat-producing sources
- Rigging on suspension scaffolds must be inspected before each shift
Electrocution Scaffold Injuries
- Scaffold must be at least 10 feet from electric power lines
- Special attention should be given to overhead power lines
Falling Object Scaffold Injuries
- Area below scaffold should be barricaded
- Toeboards should be used along edges of platform
- Paneling or screening should be used to contain larger objects from falling
The inspections highlighted above should be done by a competent person, or “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surrounding or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees.” This type of person is also “one who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazards.
Injured in Construction Scaffold Accident
Any construction worker who is injured in a scaffold accident should seek the legal guidance of a construction accident lawyer. To speak to one of the lawyers at our office about your accident and the legal options that you have, call 800.637.8170. You will have the opportunity to review your accident with our lawyer, receive legal advice on the steps that you should take, and also receive a free case evaluation.