Scaffolding is common in many workplaces, from construction sites to refineries to offshore oil rigs. When these structures are poorly built or improperly installed, workers can be seriously injured or killed.
Common Scaffolding Injuries
The most common scaffolding accidents are falls from the structure and being hit by objects that fall from it. Common injuries include:
- Head and neck trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Collapsed lungs
The types of injuries a worker may suffer can be very different depending on the way the accident happens. For example, if a worker falls from scaffolding and lands feet first, the most likely injuries are broken bones in the feet, ankles and legs.
Preventing Scaffolding Accidents
There are several precautions that employers and workers can take to reduce the risk of scaffolding accidents. Here are 5 tips from our scaffolding accident attorneys to help keep workers safe:
- Keep workplace in order: Moving around on scaffolding can be tricky, but it gets significantly more dangerous when there are tools and materials laying around. Keeping an organized workspace can help avoid slips, trips and falls.
- Properly train workers: Employers should make sure that all workers are trained properly for their jobs, including those who are setting up the scaffolding and those who are working on it.
- Look for hazards: Before scaffolding is built and work begins, it’s important to identify any potential hazards. Is the scaffold too close a power line? Is the ground level uneven or unstable? This process should continue throughout the job, as new hazards can arise that need to be addressed.
- Know the load capacity: A scaffold must be designed and built to hold the weight needed for the job. It should not be overloaded with more workers and equipment than it can safely hold.
- Wear the right PPE: Personal protective equipment for workers on scaffolding should include protective non-slip footwear and head protection. In some cases, fall protection, such as a safety harness tied to a permanent structure, should be required.
If you were hurt in a scaffolding accident, contact Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today to schedule a free consultation and learn your legal rights.