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How dangerous are scaffolds?

Scaffolds are an important part of many construction sites. According to data from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, also known as OSHA, nearly two-thirds of construction workers find themselves regularly on scaffolds. It should come as no surprise than that one of the more frequent accidents at construction sites involve scaffolds.

While some accidents may indeed be due to negligence or fault of a worker, including workers failing to properly equip themselves with the proper safety equipment, it is not uncommon that accidents are due to improper installation or unsafe equipment. Another common cause of scaffold-related injuries are objects falling onto workers from above. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has become aware of these injuries and has various regulations in place to try to assure that employers take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident.

Scaffolds must meet specific OSHA requirements regarding the type of equipment used, maximum capacities, methods of construction and how they are use. For example, each scaffold must be able to bear at least four times its intended maximum weight. Suspension wires and ropes used to support the scaffolds must be able to hold at least six times the maximum expected weight. In addition, regular inspection of each scaffold must be done in an effort to recognize a potential flaw or issue with the scaffolds. This includes a visual check before each shift.

If you have suffered from a scaffold or other workplace injury, you may be eligible to receive workers' compensation for your injuries. This would cover your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages while you recover from your injury.

Source:, "Scaffold Injuries," Accessed on July 10, 2017

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