Scaffolding Risks and Dangers You Need to Know
Living in Lake Charles, you’re probably aware that when you work in construction, you have a lot of hazards to avoid on a daily basis. Construction machinery, heavy building materials, and dangerous tools make construction sites one of the most dangerous working environments. Unfortunately, some construction sites have another hazardous element that can seriously put lives at risk—scaffolding.
Scaffolding is a temporary support structure used to elevate workers when they’re doing repairs or construction in high, inaccessible places. Unlike ladders, they allow the worker to stand, walk, and move around in a certain area, so they don’t have to stop and continuously move the ladder to get to a different area. Although scaffolding can be extremely useful and efficient with helping construction projects finish quickly, they are also highly dangerous.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), estimate that over 4,500 construction workers a year are injured, and more than 60 die as a result of scaffolding accidents. Although these accidents vary in severity, BLS and OSHA have discovered four common causes that seem to be the reasons behind scaffolding accidents. They include:
- Insufficient or faulty support beams or planks. When the plank or support rods are dented, broken or ill maintained, they can’t properly hold your weight. This defect may causes them to buckle, snap, or break resulting in you falling or becoming stuck within the scaffold itself.
- Slipping or tripping. When you trip or slip on a misplaced object or defect within the scaffold, you run the risk of falling off. Due to the height of most scaffolds, any fall could be deadly.
- Falling objects. If you’ve ever accidentally dropped something on your head, you know that the higher it is, the more it hurts. Unfortunately, when construction objects—heavy machinery, drills, bricks, or buckets of concrete—fall from several feet in the air, that drop can quickly become fatal. Depending on the height, the object would be similar to a cannonball being fired straight at your head.
- Scaffolding collapse. If a scaffold has a defect such as an insufficient plank or support rod, generally, only that defect will cause a problem and potentially injure the unlucky worker who happened to stand on it. However, when the scaffolding has multiple defects or problems, it could wind up completely collapsing. Depending on the size of the scaffold, that could mean anywhere from 100 pounds to 3,000 pounds of wood, metal, and beams crashing down—causing everyone on, below, and near it to be seriously injured.
These risks are real and unfortunately more common than you may want to believe. Next time you’re working around construction, make sure you take the proper safety precautions and thoroughly assess the scaffold before you begin to climb on it.
Picking Yourself Up After a Nasty Fall
No matter if you tripped, fell, or were struck by a falling object, scaffolding injuries can be extremely painful, with a long recovery time. However, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We can help you not only understand your rights, but also help you fight to get the treatment and compensation your injuries deserve. We’ll be here to support and fight for you to get back on your feet. Don’t hesitate, call now!
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