A big part of construction work, especially if you're working on the
high-rise buildings in New York City, involves the use of scaffolding.
Scaffolding provides a more stable way for you to work on the outside
of buildings without worrying about rickety ladders at extreme heights.
Unfortunately, far too many scaffolds are not erected properly or used
safely—thus exposing many construction workers to serious fall injuries.
Even if it is not your duty to erect the scaffolding, you should always
be on the look out for hazards that could affect the safety of you and
your coworkers. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
provides some scaffolding safety tips that every construction worker should
be aware of:
- Scaffolds must be erected on solid footing, and they must be so sound and
rigid that they can support their own weight, plus four times the maximum
intended load without settling or displacement.
- Scaffolds must have guardrails, midrails, and toeboards.
- A "competent person" needs to be in charge of the scaffolding—that
means this person needs to inspect the scaffold before anyone sets foot
on it, and then continue to re-inspect at designated intervals. He must
also supervise every aspect of the scaffolding when it is erected, moved,
dismantled, or altered in any way.
- To prevent electrocution or fires, any rope used in suspension scaffolding
must be protected from heat-producing sources. Scaffolds must also be
at least 10 feet from electric power lines.
- Any scaffold accessories, such as braces, brackets, trusses, screw legs,
or ladders that are damaged or weakened for any reason must be immediately
repaired or replaced.
If you suspect that you are working on an unsafe construction site, you
can contact OSHA and request an on-site inspection. Employers cannot retaliate
against you for reporting them, so do not be concerned about losing your
job; be concerned about your own safety.
Were you injured in a construction accident in New York? Contact the
Kingston construction accident attorneys at Mainetti, Mainetti & O'Connor for a free consultation by calling