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The dangers of scaffolding accidents in the construction industry

Although construction projects occur throughout the year, the warm spring and summer months experience an upswing in construction projects in Massachusetts and other states across the nation. While the construction industry is essential, it is also an industry that presents a wide array of dangers and hazards for construction workers. While much effort is made to increase safety and reduce construction accidents, serious injuries can occur due to negligence or faulty equipment in the work environment.

Because most construction projects involve high structures or buildings that are much taller than the average worker, scaffolds are used to support both construction workers and the material they are working with. While these temporary structures assist in the construction process and provide a range of benefits, scaffolding accidents are dangers workers are likely to encounter.

According to recent statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Therefore, taking protective measure to reduce or prevent scaffold accidents could prevent injuries and save lives. Based on recent statistics, roughly 4,500 construction workers are injured and 60 are killed each year due to a scaffolding accident.

In was discovered that roughly 72 percent of workers that ere injured in a scaffolding accident attributed the work-related accident to the planking or support system giving away, the employee slipping or the worker being struck by a falling object. When considering these situations, all of them could be controlled by the compliance with current Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. This includes providing adequate training, following scaffolding specifications and providing for fall protection.

While taking safety measures to ensure compliance with OSHA standards works to reduce the number of scaffolding accidents, this unfortunately does not prevent all these work accident from happening. When a construction worker suffers serious injuries due to a scaffolding accident, it is possible to seek out compensation and benefits. Workers' compensation could provide the injured worker with the funds to cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages and other related damages.

Source: Osha.gov, "Safety and Health Topics: Scaffolding," accessed May 30, 2016

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