Scaffolding accidents are a common occurrence in the construction industry. Unfortunately, scaffolding accidents are also among the most dangerous, with potentially life-altering consequences.
While OSHA sets forth guidelines to prevent construction accidents, there are various reasons why accidents still occur at the job site.
Lack of inspection and maintenance
Project managers must insist on regular inspections to identify and rectify hazards immediately. Over time, scaffolding can deteriorate due to exposure and wear and tear from use. The weakened frame can collapse without adequate maintenance, injuring those on or near the structure.
Failure to follow safety protocol
Workers must abide by strict safety procedures when working on scaffolding. Ignoring the safety protocol or refusing to wear personal protective equipment can increase the risk of worker injury and death due to slip and fall accidents. In 2021, there were 370 deaths in the construction industry due to slips and falls. To avoid joining the statistics, workers should always have a harness, a personal fall arrest system, safety nets and access to guardrails.
Inadequate supervision on the job
Workers and supervisors must work together to ensure the safety of a construction site. When supervisors do not monitor workers, some may take shortcuts or neglect safety precautions, injuring themselves or other workers in the vicinity. Less experienced workers may not recognize the danger of exceeding the weight limit, whereas a supervisor may be able to stop workers from loading the scaffolding with equipment.
Many of the deaths and injuries due to scaffolding accidents are preventable. Knowing the dangers can help employees and supervisors identify dangers and correct them.