After a long period where nobody was building, the construction industry in San Diego is booming again. Thousands of jobs have been added in the past couple of years, supplying locals with plentiful employment opportunities close to home. While a job in construction provides many workers with a means to pay the bills and put food on the table, manual work and dangerous conditions mean job-related accidents are commonplace, rather than the exception.
One of the most common causes of construction injuries and deaths are safety issues surrounding scaffolding systems. Collapses occur when systems aren’t set up properly or when there is a lack of awareness surrounding safety details involved in working on highly constructed scaffolds. Though there are many inevitable risks that come with a job in construction, employers and workers should both be aware of the dangers a scaffolding system presents and work together to ensure safety is a top priority.
Here are a few ways to avoid a scaffolding accident:
Follow safety guidelines
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) scaffolding requirements are designed to make it safer to work on or around scaffolding. It’s important for workers to follow these guidelines, including set-up specifications, instructions for use, and load capacities. When these guidelines are adhered to, it is estimated that up to 60 lives can be saved and more than 4,500 accidents prevented each year.
Inspect scaffolding before use
A little common sense goes a long way towards preventing scaffolding accidents. Workers should perform a visual inspection of the scaffolds at the beginning and end of each work shift to ensure stability and to look for parts that are worn out. Establish a system that allows a worker to alert management to any defective parts or ladder systems so they can be removed from the job site promptly.
Inquire about training
OSHA reports that safety-training programs are absent in 25 percent cases where a scaffolding accident occurs. Employers should schedule regular courses to teach new workers and seasoned employees the basics of safety measures when working on or around scaffolding. Training material should include proper use of the scaffold, how to perform a visual inspection, how to build and dismantle a scaffold, and how to climb on and descend scaffolding safely.
Stay organized and use safety equipment
Space is limited on a scaffold, so it’s important for workers to store their tools and supplies in an orderly manner. Regularly clearing construction debris and spills will also prevent slips that can lead to a debilitating or deadly fall. Guardrails, a safety harness tied to a solid structure, non-slip footwear, and head protection provide the foundation of personal protection equipment.
Have you been injured in a scaffolding accident?
One of the most common causes of accidents on a construction job site is the malfunctioning of a scaffolding system. If you’ve been injured in a scaffolding accident in San Diego, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits that will pay for any related medical bills, missed wages while you recover, as well as damages for any lasting impairment. At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys will fight hard on your behalf to make sure you receive every last penny you’re entitled to. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.