Scaffolding safety tips

Performing inspections, focusing on assembly and using safety equipment may increase the workers' safety on scaffolding.

Construction workers in Maryland may have to use ladders and scaffolding on a daily basis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, scaffolding errors were the third most common safety violation over the course of a single fiscal year. When the safety standards are not followed correctly, workers may be at a higher risk of falling off of the scaffolding. Considering that falling led to 39.2% of the fatal injuries in construction, employers may want to do everything they can to increase the safety of their workers on scaffolding.

Do an inspection

A competent individual should inspect the scaffolding on a regular basis. This inspection may look for damage around the braces, rigging connections or brackets. Not only can the safety inspection make sure the equipment is in working order, but it can also ensure the area around the scaffolding is safe. For example, employees should not have to work on an elevated platform that is too close to a power line because it could increase their risk of being electrocuted.

Consider the build

Scaffolding has to be erected properly in order to be as safe as possible. If one side of the scaffold is supported by a stack of bricks, it may not be sturdy. If one of the brackets is warped, it may not be able to hold the required weight. This equipment should always be set up on a level part of the ground with fully functioning parts.

Workers should not use concrete blocks, loose bricks, boxes or other unstable objects to support the scaffold structure or the individual planks. The proper assembly of this construction equipment increases the overall safety of the site.

Use safety equipment

Workers need to know how to stay safe when working from a height. This means they should have access to and knowledge of the proper safety gear. All scaffold should have guardrails and toe boards to help prevent falling off the gear. Workers should also have personal protective equipment, including the following:

  • Hard hats
  • Proper footwear
  • Safety harnesses

In some cases, this gear can help prevent an accident from happening at all. In other situations, the equipment reduces the seriousness of an injury. For example, a guardrail can stop a person from falling off of the scaffolding and a hard hat can protect his or her head if a poorly placed plank falls onto him or her.

Construction sites in Maryland may be full of potential dangers because of the nature of the job. If a person gets hurt while on the job, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of Workers' Compensation case.