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OSHA’s Required Scaffolding Safety Standards

Workers on construction sites are probably the ones most prone to job-related accidents due to the heavy and huge construction tools and equipment around them, as well as the great heights that they need to ascend. In fact, studies show that falls are among the four top causes of injuries in construction sites, the other three being electrocution, caught-in-between equipment and a solid object, and struck by construction equipment or vehicles.

The rapid increase in the number of high-rise constructions all across the US and the need to restore the aesthetic look of many old buildings has also given rise to the number of workers required to work around the exterior of these edifices from great heights, requiring them to work on scaffolds, sometimes daily. In fact an estimated 2.3 million individuals are said to be working on scaffolds every day, bringing danger to many lives.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is in charge of regulating and enforcing safety in the work place, set the standard on scaffold requirements back in 1971. For added safety, there are certain types of scaffolds that OSHA recognizes, which can be used depending on certain factors, like load, materials, and weather condition. These types include pole and specialty, ladder jack, mobile, suspended, tube and coupler, pump jack, and frame.

The types mentioned, however, are still exposed to collapse, especially if they have been incompetently assembled. Improper assembly is actually the most common cause of scaffolding-collapse and accident. It is, therefore, imperative that scaffolds be double-checked for proper assembly and strength before being used.

The scaffolds’ susceptibility to collapse, if coupled with disregard of OSHA’s stipulated safety standards can lead to much greater risks. The additional measures for ensured worker’s safety include scaffold safety training and incorporation of guardrails to which workers can hold onto in cases of slips.

An accidental fall may result to serious injuries that would require long-term rehabilitation and costly medical treatment. To make sure that you get the justice that is due you in case of a fall, make sure that you get represented by a highly skilled and determined lawyer who understands your situation and is determined to fight for your rights.