New York construction workers are not strangers to scaffolding at their work sites. Safety+Health Magazine reports that 35% of construction workers work on scaffolds and that falls from this equipment caused almost 20% of all deaths in the construction industry in 2016.
We have handled wrongful death and personal injury cases arising from construction site accidents.
Site owners may mitigate the risks of common scaffolding dangers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recommended safety measures to guard against common scaffolding hazards:
- Employers must protect workers on scaffolds elevated more than 10 feet above a lower level. Fall protection devices like body harnesses or bucket systems may help prevent falls. OSHA also sets standards for rail systems and toeboards to prevent workers and tools from falling.
- Platforms more than two feet above or below an access point can lead to injuries as workers struggle to climb up to, or jump down from, the platforms. Ladders, stairs, towers and similar apparatuses may help workers safely access scaffolds.
- Employers may mitigate the risks inherent in planks or decks by using metal planks and ensuring proper spacing between a platform and uprights.
- Baseplates, mudsills, screw jacks and other devices may provide stability, leveling and proper load distribution on scaffolds.
Site owners should emphasize training
Experts suggest that an employer may positively impact worksite safety by appointing a well-trained person with authority to identify and correct dangers. This person could also educate others at the site about safe practices through ongoing training and toolbox talks. Workplace audits and consultations with industry peers and experts may also inform proper scaffolding safety measures.
Construction sites pose dangers to workers, but preventative measures may help mitigate risks. You may visit our website to learn more about the consequences of construction accidents.