When you make your living as a Massachusetts construction worker or in a similar role, you may rely on scaffolds when you need to perform work high off the ground. These temporary elevated platforms may be a necessary part of business, but they are also quite dangerous.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 65% of today’s construction workers use scaffolds on a regular basis.
Scaffold accident statistics
Research shows that learning to prevent scaffolding-related incidents could save an estimated 60 lives each year. It would also result in about 4,500 fewer construction worker injuries. Also, many scaffolding injuries and fatalities result from the same circumstances. According to one survey, more than 70% of workers who suffer injuries in scaffolding accidents suffer them after slipping, having the platform give way underneath them or having something strike them as it falls.
Scaffold safety tips
Because so many scaffolding accidents, injuries and deaths result from scaffolds giving way underneath workers, it is critical that you and your entire team exercise extreme care when erecting these work areas. It is also essential that you and your team abide by all load limits and never force a scaffold to support more weight than it should. Be mindful, too, of where you erect the scaffolding. Erecting it too close to power lines may enhance your risk of electrocution.
As a construction worker, you need to educate yourself about the many risks that come with working on scaffolds. Your employer, too, has a duty to train you and protect you on the job as much as possible.