Scaffolding is commonly used in construction as a temporary support structure to enable workers to reach required heights while constructing, maintaining, or repairing the existing structures.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an estimated 2.3 million construction workers, 65% of the construction industry, work on scaffolds every year. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year from scaffold-related accidents. BLS estimates that nearly 30% of all workplace deaths from falls involve scaffolding or ladders.
Scaffolding accidents can be attributed to a few factors:
- Scaffold support or planking giving way from defective or damaged equipment or improper assembly, leading to falls and injuries.
- Slipping or tripping while on a scaffold due to slippery surfaces, an unsafe incline, or insufficient planking, leading to falls where guardrails, a safety harness, or proper training were lacking.
- Falling objects hitting either a worker on a scaffold or those below.
- Improper placement of scaffolds and equipment too close to power or other utility lines, leading to electrocution.
Scaffolds are intended to be temporary structures, but many contractors will keep them in place for months or even years. Therefore, it is vital that scaffolds are properly maintained and inspected by a competent person prior to each work shift. OSHA reports that 72% of scaffolding accidents involve factors that were preventable.
Providing workers with the latest workplace and scaffolding training and ensuring safety features like guard rails are in place, could help prevent a majority of these accidents. The civil and structural engineers at CED are experienced with investigating construction site accidents. Contact us today for your construction site accident or submit your next case or claim online.
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