The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 65% of construction workers work on scaffolds. Scaffolding accidents are not uncommon and account for approximately 60 deaths per year. Owners and General Contractors are required by law to protect workers on scaffolds from being injured due to falling or being hit by a falling object. Staying safe can be achieved in a number of ways.
Give the Proper Training
OSHA standards require that workers be trained before using a scaffold. This training should include information on how to get on and off the scaffolding in a safe manner, how to help prevent falls, and how to respond to emergency situations.
Provide Proper Safety Equipment
Owners and contractors should ensure that all workers on the site have and use safety equipment at all times. Hardhats and sturdy non-slip footwear should be worn. Fall prevention gear is also essential for keeping everyone safe.
Inspect the Scaffold
The scaffolding must be regularly inspected by the contractor or the company who installed it. The base should be secure and level and guardrails and planks must be safely secured. It must also be the proper type of scaffold for the work being performed.
Ensure the Scaffold is Properly Designed
OSHA requires that scaffolding must be designed by a “qualified person.” The qualified person must have a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing and have extensive training, knowledge, and experience in the field. This person must design and appropriate scaffold for the job, determine the load capacity, and assure a strong foundation.
Construct the Scaffold in Accordance with the Design
Owners and contractors must ensure that the scaffolding is constructed and loaded in accordance with the proper design.
Be Mindful of Load Capacity
To protect the safety of all individuals on the work site, owners and contractors must be aware of the load capacity of the scaffolding. They should never ttempt to overload the scaffold, with either workers or equipment, in order to save time.
Under OSHA regulations, a scaffolding that is over 10 feet must have guardrails along the three sides facing away from the building. Owners and contractors must ensure that equipment is not leaning on guardrails, as doing so could potentially compromise the sturdiness of the rails.
Consult an Experienced Attorney
Even if you take every safety measure, you can still be injured in a scaffolding accident. If you’ve been injured contact an experienced attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New York workers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.