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Construction workers can be put at risk by unsafe scaffolds

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Personal Injury

New Jersey construction workers know they have a greater risk of injury than people who work in less physically demanding jobs. That goes with the territory. However, it is up to the employer to make sure that the worksite is as safe as possible.

Falls are a common way in which workers are injured and lose their lives. Many of these falls are when they are on scaffolding. Workers who function under the belief that their employer is taking the necessary precautions for scaffold safety may be mistaken.

It is imperative for scaffolds to meet the basic standards. There are ways for them to be made safer. If there is an accident, those who were hurt should have assistance with deciding what steps to take.

Experts give advice on improving scaffold safety

Scaffolds are a fundamental part of many construction projects. Statistically, more than 62% of workers on these projects are at least five feet above ground as they do their jobs. A fall from even that relatively short height can cause serious injuries. Those who are stationed much higher are in greater jeopardy.

The risk is shown by the number of workers who were injured in scaffold accidents as recently as 2020 with 3,250 being hurt. Common errors that lead to falls and structural collapse include not having sufficient fall protection; an overloaded scaffold; items falling from a scaffold and hitting workers; and overhead power lines.

Overwhelmingly, falls are the biggest problem with 86% of fatalities being related to falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rules in place for scaffolds. These have been in effect for more than 50 years.

Employers need to make sure the structure was inspected; fall protection is used; the load placed on the scaffold does not go beyond its capacity; it is secure so it does not move or tip; the work area is safe; workers use the right points of access; and they are trained. If the employer does not follow the rules, this could be part of a case after an accident.

Injured construction workers should have help with maximizing compensation

Workers who are injured on a scaffold or in any other construction accident will undoubtedly know about workers’ compensation. This is a key part of being covered financially and getting the medical care they need.

Still, if the accident was due to negligence and the injuries go beyond what workers’ compensation provides, it is vital to have professional help with pursuing a claim.


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