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What workers should know about scaffolding safety

The construction industry in New York City is expected to be in good shape through the remainder of 2016. There does not seem to be a drop in the number of residential and commercial projects expected to be completed in the next 18 months. This ostensibly means that the number of construction workers employed will continue to be steady.

With each construction project, safety is a key responsibility for contractors and employees alike. Arguably the most important aspect for workers working above ground is to have proper scaffolding. After all, falls make up the bulk of workers’ compensation claims stemming from construction sites. In fact, a fall from just only six feet in the air could result in serious injuries. As such, scaffolding should be properly installed and maintained throughout the project.

While a construction site supervisor is ultimately responsible for the safety of scaffolding, workers should be aware of the following.

The supervisor should be active – The supervisor should be aware any activity being conducted on scaffolds, especially the erection and any alterations to scaffolding.

A full inspection before work begins – All scaffolding must be inspected to ensure that all sections are secure and safe for the work that is to be completed. If scaffolding fixtures are worn, they should be replaced prior to work being started.  

Guardrails must be properly installed – Similarly, all guardrails must be properly in place before work begins. If they are not, no work should begin until guardrails are installed.

Use safety belts – Depending on how high off the ground workers are working, safety belts may need to be included. Typically, scaffolds at least 10 feet above the ground should include safety belts or lanyards. 

If you have questions about your rights and options after a construction accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. 

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