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4 common causes of scaffolding accidents

From completing a significant home renovation to the erection of a completely new build, construction workers are often required to work high above the ground. Whether this is on a ladder, on a scaffolding or on incomplete floors hundreds of feet in the air, workers must remain safe to avoid devastating injuries or fatal accidents.

A common structure around nearly any construction project is the metal pipe scaffolding. These structures are used to provide a stable platform for workers to complete tasks high above the ground where a ladder will not suffice. Unfortunately, scaffolding accidents are common on construction sites for many reasons, including:

  • Lack of stable ground: In the initial planning phase, flat, stable ground must be chosen for the construction of the scaffolding. Unfortunately, stable ground might be in short supply on an active construction site. If it is not on a stable surface, the scaffolding could tip over either knocking the workers from the top or collapsing altogether.
  • Faulty materials: The stability of the scaffolding relies on the materials used. Whether it is weak planking, metal fatigue or a failure at attachment points, parts failure can lead to serious falls and injuries.
  • Inadequate fall protection: Not only should the scaffolding have a safety rail surrounding the work platform, all workers should be wearing safety harnesses and other fall protection. Supervisors need to provide adequate training and equipment to keep their workers safe.
  • Changing weather conditions: In many ways, a worksite is dependent on weather conditions for safety. Rain, snow or heavy wind can dramatically impact the safety and stability of a scaffolding.

A scaffolding collapse or a fall from the erected structure can result in numerous devastating injuries. Workers can suffer head trauma, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis, broken bones, crush injuries or amputation. In severe instances, the fall can prove fatal. If you were injured or you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, it is crucial that you discuss your situation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.