Imagine if your work office was ten stories above the ground and that you werer required to complete assigned work duties while teetering outside a building on a narrow plank platform. For a significant percentage of construction workers, this scenario is their every day reality.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an estimated 65 percent of workers in the U.S. contruction market routinely use scaffolds to carry out work-related duties. In New York City especially, construction workers must often rely on scaffolding to complete a variety of buillding, repair and remodeling projects. The use of scaffolding is also inhererntly dangerous and put workers at an increased risk of suffering fall accidents
While working on scaffolding, a misstep or miscalculation can result in a worker falling and suffering serious and even fatal injuries. Additionally, a significant percentage of construction accidents that involve scaffolding relate to defective equipment with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that, during 2003 and 2004, a whopping 72 percent of scaffolding accidents were attributed to structural defects, falling objects or an employee slipping.
In an effort to protect workers who use scaffolds, OSHA has established safety regulations and guidelines with regard to scaffold design and use. Additionally, OSHA requires construction workers who use scaffolding to receive proper and adequate training and also use fall protection equipment in the event accidents occur.
In cases where scaffolding collapses, a worker slips and falls or a worker is struck by a falling object; serious, debilitating or fatal injuries are likely to result. Construction workers and their families who have been negatively impacted by a scaffolding-related accident may choose to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.
Source: OSHA, “Safety & Health Topics: Scaffolding,” June 9, 2015
OSHA, “Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry,” June 9, 2015