Scaffolding, which is part of many construction jobs, comes with its own unique set of risk factors. While it has the potential to help prevent accidents and to assist in getting a job done, it also has the potential to cause falls and injuries. Construction accidents caused by scaffolding are preventable. Here are four tips for working with scaffolding on a construction job.
1. Remember your hardhat
The first tip for workers is to remember to wear a hardhat any time the scaffolding is being dismantled or erected. There are many plates, screws and other items that have the potential to fall, which could impact workers below the scaffolding’s platform. Wearing a hardhat prevents dangerous concussions and head injuries from these falling items.
2. Scaffolding security matters
When your scaffolding is over four times the minimum base width, you must secure it to the building. This helps prevent the scaffolding from swaying or moving around. The bottom of the scaffolding requires a tie, and every 26 feet after that requires a second, third, fourth and fifth tie (and so on). The ties also need to hold the scaffolding as close to the top as possible. In all cases, securing scaffolding with ties prevents it from moving around in windy conditions or when workers are performing their duties.
3. Keep planks close to one another
Scaffolding planks, the parts you stand on, should never have more than an inch between them. When too much space is present, you have the potential to have your foot or other items stuck in the scaffolding, which is a fall and injury risk. While most scaffolding has guardrails, some only has cross bracing. This leaves more room for injuries, especially if the flooring isn’t pushed tightly together.
4. Working in the elements: The risks of wind
Wind plays a serious role in falls, and workers intending to use scaffolding should not mount them in 30 mph or higher winds. Working in high winds could cause the scaffolding to shift, sway or otherwise move in an unexpected manner, putting workers at risk of falling. Wearing a harness and tether helps prevent fatal falls, but severe weather conditions aren’t something to ignore.
Your attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim if you’ve been left with injuries related to a scaffolding defect or misuse. You have a right to pursue the money you need to recover from your injuries.
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