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The Dangers of Scaffolding

Rick Plezia April 13, 2016 Work Accidents

Scaffolding is incredibly versatile and useful in the construction industry. Being lightweight and portable, it can easily be taken from jobsite to jobsite and helps jobs get done efficiently and more easily. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that scaffolding violations accounted for the third most citations issued in 2015.

Common Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

Scaffolding provides workers with a temporary and elevated platform upon which to work, but when precautions are not taken to keep workers safe, scaffolding can be deadly. There are a variety of causes of scaffolding accidents, the most common being inadequate planking, which accounts for 72% of scaffolding accident injuries. Inadequate planking refers to the integrity of the lumber used as the platform. The lumber needs to be scaffold-grade lumber, which can withstand forces not imposed on ordinary, construction-grade wood and also needs to be in good condition as wood becomes weaker over time.

Scaffolding accidents can also occur when scaffolding is not equipped with guardrails or when guardrails fail, causing workers to fall. Falls from scaffolding can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or even death. Falls accounted for nearly 40% of workplace fatalities in the construction industry, making them a serious threat to workers everywhere.

Another common cause of scaffolding accidents is poor cross-bracing, causing collapse. Because scaffolding can be several stories high, care must be taken to ensure the structure can support the weight of the crew and any necessary tools. A scaffolding collapse can injure and/or kill workers on the platform; and, it also poses a risk to anyone working nearly or under the base of the scaffolding.

Houston Scaffolding Accidents Attorneys

If you or your loved one was injured or killed in a Houston workplace accident, you may have many questions. How am I going to pay for my medical bills? When will I be able to return to work? How did this happen? The attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can help. You have a right to a safe workplace, and if someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you deserve compensation. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.