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    How to Prevent Deadly Scaffolding Accidents

    A large number of Pennsylvania residents work with scaffolding every day, most commonly in construction jobs or other building sites. If you are one of these workers, you know that scaffolding presents serious risks to workers. Many serious injuries and fatal accidents are caused by scaffold falls.

    If you have suffered an injury at work in Pennsylvania due to faulty scaffolding, let a Lancaster workplace injury lawyer help with your workers’ comp claim so that your employer or their workers’ comp insurance company doesn’t talk you into an undervalued settlement of your claim.

    OSHA Guidelines

    Due to the inherent dangers involved in scaffolding work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (PDF) has developed strict guidelines for the setup and use of scaffolds on job sites. Employers must follow the guidelines set out by OSHA as part of the requirement to provide all employees a safe work environment. Some of the topics covered by the OSHA guidelines include:

    • Fall protection or fall arrest systems
    • Guardrail height
    • Crossbracing
    • Midrails
    • Footings
    • Guying ties and braces
    • Capacity
    • Training
    • Inspections
    • Erecting and Dismantling

    Safety Tips for Working with Scaffolding

    The OSHA guidelines are comprehensive and detailed, but, as is the case with many government agency documents, they are formal and complex. Most construction veterans focus on common-sense safety tips, such as:

    DOs:

    • Make sure a competent person; i.e., an experienced scaffolding veteran has thoroughly inspected the scaffold before anyone climbs it
    • If you’re not sure that a scaffold is safe, ask a supervisor 
    • Use a personal fall arrest system whenever required
    • Wear sturdy shoes with nonslip soles
    • Always wear a hard hat upon or around any scaffold
    • Be aware of any co-workers sharing the scaffold as well as other workers below
    • Move around the scaffolding slowly and carefully
    • Use common sense! If it doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t

    DON’Ts

    • Don’t overload a scaffold
    • Don’t leave debris, tools, and other materials lying around the scaffold where someone could accidentally knock them off the platform or trip over them. Keep tools where they’re supposed to be
    • Be careful driving anything heavy, such as a forklift or refuse truck, too close to a scaffold.
    • Avoid using a scaffold entirely during windy or stormy weather, or if the scaffold is covered with ice or snow
    • Don’t take chances! It’s not worth it!

    Let a Lancaster Workplace Injury Lawyer Help You Understand Scaffolding Safety 

    Scaffolds on the worksite are among the most dangerous tools at any construction site. Many construction workers simply won’t use them. If you’re a construction worker who has been injured by a scaffolding accident, a Lancaster workplace injury lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your workers’ comp claim. After all, workers’ comp is all we do. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.