Many modern construction workers use scaffolds or temporary erected platforms that allow them to work at higher elevations, on a regular basis. However, these large, heavy platforms bring with them certain risks. Many of today’s construction workers suffer serious injuries or fatalities in incidents involving scaffolding. Therefore, learning how to mitigate scaffolding-related hazards may save many lives and prevent numerous injuries each year.
Scaffolds come in two main types. The first is the supported scaffold, which has poles or legs supporting it and holding it in place. The other is the suspended scaffold, which hangs from ropes or other types of non-rigid support from overhead.
Falls from scaffolds
Many scaffolding-related injuries and fatalities are the results of construction workers falling from scaffolds. Sometimes, they may fall because someone improperly erected the scaffold, or because there is too much weight on one of them. Scaffolds may also collapse underneath workers, potentially injuring both those atop the scaffolds and anyone who might be working underneath them.
Other scaffold hazards
Working on scaffolding also raises risks and dangers relating to electrocution. Workers must exercise considerable care when it comes to where they raise their scaffolds to avoid power lines and minimize electrical injury risks. Workers below scaffolds also face dangers if the tools or other materials positioned atop a scaffold fall underneath and strike them.
Construction workers who suffer serious injuries in construction site falls may be able to secure workers’ compensation to help cover the costs of their medical care and related expenses.