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Follow these tips to avoid a scaffolding accident

Some New York hardhats use scaffolding in construction sites as a regular part of their jobs. Many of these scaffoldings are multiple stories high, which means that a fall from the scaffolding can kill, or it could cause catastrophic injuries.

Scaffolding accidents can happen to anyone. Let's say it's early morning, you're still a little groggy from waking up an hour ago, you didn't have time to drink your coffee and you're standing on top of a scaffolding. You were very careful to put on your safety harness, but you didn't inspect the scaffolding before you climbed on top of it. Suddenly you slip, and a rusty part on the harness gives way. You take a life-threatening tumble and suffer catastrophic injuries as a result.

The fact is, these kinds of accidents are very common. That's why construction workers need to keep track of a lot of potential dangers whenever they're using scaffolding. However, by referring to the following checklist, New York hardhats can avoid the majority of scaffolding-related accidents:

  • Erect scaffolding on solid surfaces: Any imbalance, softness or other problems relating to the surface where a scaffolding stands can destroy the stability of the scaffolding. An unstable scaffolding will result in falls.
  • Erect scaffolding on even surfaces: Uneven surfaces can also lead to unstable scaffolding. Never try to balance the surface with portable objects like bricks or concrete objects.
  • Erect scaffolding 10 feet from power lines: At the very least, provide 10 feet of clearance between scaffolding and power lines.
  • Only qualified personnel should erect scaffolding: Those who erect scaffolding need to receive appropriate training and certification to ensure that safety procedure is followed.
  • Do not overload scaffolding: Scaffolding can only bear so much weight and workers have to be careful not to exceed the weight limits of their scaffolding.
  • Check the following to ensure your scaffolding is safe before use:
    • Are the platforms tightly planked?
    • Are the guardrails, midrails and toeboards sturdy?
    • Do you notice any loose or damaged rigging?
  • Immediately fix and repair anything that looks problematic: Never wait to fix damaged scaffolding, and never use scaffolding if there are any issues - even minor issues - that could affect the safety of its use.
  • Keep scaffolding free of unused materials and tools: These items can fall and hit people below causing serious and life-threatening injuries.
  • Only use scaffolding in good weather: Bad weather can result in dangerous slips and falls.
  • Be attentive: Always keep your common sense and keen awareness about you when using scaffolding.

Were you hurt in a scaffolding accident?

Depending on the circumstances of the scaffolding-related construction accident, Elmhurst construction workers may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits to pay for their injuries. If the scaffolding's condition led to the accident, and the employer was negligent with regard to its care, workers might also have the ability to seek personal injury damages in addition to their workers' compensation claims.

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