Potential Danger of Scaffolds
Long pieces of metal and wood laid scattered almost as long as a city block after a scaffolding collapse at an apartment complex that was under construction in downtown Houston in October of 2015. Of the 200 construction workers at the site, six were said to have been injured; they were immediately rushed to the nearest hospital.
The increasing number of high-rise construction jobs and the need to restore the aesthetic appearance of many old buildings in the US has also led to an increase in the number of workers who need to work on scaffolds to be able to reach the exteriors of tall buildings. In fact, more than a million construction workers are said to be working on scaffolds every day, which means more than a million lives always in danger.
Scaffolding is a provisional structure that is either suspended from above or supported from below. It is used to support workers and the materials they will use in the construction, repair and maintenance of man-made structures like buildings and bridges. Due to the many accidents (because of collapsing scaffolds) in the past, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an off-shoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 and which is charged with the regulation and enforcement of the OSH Act mandate of creating a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, saw it fit to impose a standard on scaffoldings to reduce incidences of falls or scaffold collapse that lead to injuries or workers’ death.
The website of law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® says that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous career fields in the US; it is also very aware that accidents which injure construction workers can most likely result to a number of daunting consequences, such as loss of income, due to time spent in recovery and costly bills for medical treatment. This is why the firm strongly emphasizes the importance of an injured worker understanding his or her legal rights and options in seeking the compensation that he or she may have a legal right to receive.
Avoiding a work-related accident, which will save an employer additional expenses, such as higher Workers’ Compensation premiums, is totally possible, first by complying with OSHA safety standards, which includes using the right type of scaffolds based on the type of job to be accomplished, the materials to be loaded on these and the weather condition and, second, by double checking the structure, to make sure that it has been assembled firmly and properly.
Another law firm, the Abel Firm, explains in its website the importance of scaffolding in various types of construction projects, how it enables a construction crew to reach a tall building’s exterior levels which cannot be accessed by ladders. However, this structure will need to have good and strong material and should be assembled properly, otherwise, it will only put workers and bystanders at risk of serious injury.