Why do scaffold accidents happen in the workplace?

The use of scaffolds goes a long way in helping many workers better complete their job responsibilities.

When used in the appropriate manner, this equipment provides a stable and secure environment for workers to complete a job at height.

There are two types of scaffolds:

-- Suspended scaffolds, which suspend from cables or ropes from overhead support.

-- Supported scaffolds, which receive support from legs, frames, and/or poles.

With either type of scaffold, there is always a chance of an accident. If this happens, the person or people involved in the accident could suffer a serious injury.

Common hazards

Anyone working on or around scaffolds should be familiar with the most common hazards. This knowledge can go a long way in helping prevent an accident. The most common hazards include:

-- Collapse, often caused by overloading, poor construction, or instability

-- Falls from height as the result of no fall protection

-- When falling debris or tools hit a person standing below

-- Electrocutions, such as if the scaffold is set up in close proximity to power lines

As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong when a person is using scaffold to complete a task.

Here are some steps companies and workers can take to improve their safety:

-- Anyone who is putting together scaffold should be trained on how to properly do so

-- Anyone who is working on scaffold should know the proper safety procedures and use the appropriate safety equipment

-- Working at height can be extremely dangerous, so it's important to avoid horseplay during this time

While these tips do not guarantee the prevention of a scaffold accident, they can be instrumental in helping keep everyone safe.

In the event that a scaffold accident occurs and you suffer an injury, don't wait to call for medical assistance.

You should also notify your company of what went wrong, who was involved and the types of injuries you have.

Finally, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits if your injuries are keeping you from returning to work. This one step could be the best way to improve your financial situation as you focus on receiving treatment and making a full recovery.

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