Many of the accidents occurring on construction sites result from complications with scaffolding. Working at elevation on scaffolding requires careful attention to detail and safety considerations. Falling from a scaffolding platform often results in serious injuries.
There are many common practices and general hazards that contribute to scaffolding accidents.
Insufficient fall protection infrastructure
Scaffolding needs sufficient guardrails, strong safety netting and integrated fall arrest infrastructure to protect workers from falling. Scaffolding put into service without these features poses a safety risk.
Inadequate foundation support
When construction crews erect scaffolding, the foundation beneath that structure must support the weight of the scaffolding, crews and equipment without shifting. Uneven or unstable soil beneath the scaffolding structure creates instability and increases the risk of a fall.
Irresponsible assembly or inspection procedures
Proper assembly of scaffolding ensures that the structure meets safety standards. Cutting corners to save time or rushing through the assembly process puts workers at risk. The same applies to pre-shift inspections. Overlooking signs of trouble increase the risk of structural collapse or worker accidents.
Unsafe job site practices
Crews working on scaffolding need to follow strict safety procedures. Establish rules and compliance systems to ensure safe behaviors on the scaffolding, including responsible harness use, caution around others on the structure and recognizing inclement weather threats.
Construction crews often face tight deadlines, setbacks and work disruptions. This increases the risk of safety issues that cause serious injuries. Protect your job site by recognizing these common causes of scaffolding falls and injuries and taking precautions.