Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Staying safe on scaffolding


Many workers in Illinois are placed in dangerous situations on the job. Some of these hazards come from naturally occurring conditions. Other hazards, on the other hand, are created as a part of the person's job. Scaffolding, for example, is erected to help construction workers reach high places on a job site. These temporary structures allow people to reach heights that they otherwise would be unable to access on their own.

However, these unnatural conditions can create hazards for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, scaffolding is responsible for 50 fatalities each year. Additionally, around 4,500 people are injured in scaffolding related accidents each year.

However, scaffolding does not have to be dangerous. OSHA claims that there are many precautions that worksites can take in order to reduce the chances of a workplace accident involving scaffolding. First, the scaffolding needs to be correctly erected and maintained. This means it needs to be placed on a solid footing, damage pieces need to be replaced and removed, and competent people must inspect the scaffolding as it's erected and throughout its use.

Scaffolding must remain free of tripping hazards like boxes, loose bricks and barrels. It must also be equipped with guard rails, toe boards and mid-rails. If rope is used on the scaffolding it should be kept away from heat sources. And finally, scaffolding should be kept at least 10 feet from power lines at all times.

OSHA also recommends that workers are trained on how to safely use scaffolding. By following these safety guidelines, workplace accidents can be reduced. However, when accidents occur, workers and their families in Illinois should understand their legal rights. Compensation may be available to these workers after an Illinois construction site injury. An attorney can help individuals following a workplace accident.

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