Scaffolds allow Virginia workers to perform various job tasks at great heights, and for this reason, they are essential pieces of equipment at most construction sites. However, these devices can also create the opportunity for serious injuries — particularly fall injuries — so it’s important for workers to follow the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines listed below:
— All scaffolds need to be able to support quadruple their intended weight load.
— Scaffold constructors should install netting to prevent debris from falling on people below.
— Scaffold users should secure all items to the scaffold to prevent things from falling on people.
— When building the scaffold, workers must ensure that it is secure, stable, not prone to collapse and provides a solid base for workers.
— Workers should never stand on the guardrails or support ties. They should only stand on designated areas of the scaffold.
— Workers should never overreach beyond the guardrails.
— When loading and unloading a scaffold, unnecessary workers should not be on the scaffold.
— Always replace the guardrails if they need to be removed for loading purposes.
— When climbing the scaffold, workers should have three points of contact at all times via their hands and feet.
— If a scaffold is mobile, workers need to dismount the scaffold before it is moved.
These are some of the many scaffold safety precautions that OSHA lists in its training material. It’s important for all workers who use a scaffold to receive complete OSHA safety training to avoid a serious work-related injury. However, if an injury does occur in spite of the worker’s best efforts to be safe, the worker might want to investigate whether he or she can pursue financial benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim.