Three steps workplaces should take to prevent scaffolding falls

Scaffolding presents a real danger to construction workers. The workers on top of the scaffolding are in the greatest position of danger as they could fall and seriously injure themselves. A fall could even cause their death. Workplaces have a responsibility to their workers to manage the risks of scaffolding falls.

According to official reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 294 fatalities resulting from falls at construction sites in 2013. This statistic may explain why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched the Plan Provide Train campaign in order to help prevent these type of workplace accidents.

Planning ahead may be the missing link in the process for most people. Understanding what type of work needs to be done at a job site will allow the employer to supply the proper tools and safety equipment to get the job done safely. The safety equipment required for heights of greater than or equal to 6 or more feet are more elaborate, and the types of hoists and equipment needed for roofs and scaffolds are different. Employers also need to train the workers how to properly use the equipment in ways that make their job safer, not more dangerous.

If employers don't take charge and guide their workers appropriately, a serious injury or death could result. It is best that all parties know how to stay safe and behave accordingly. This is in the best interests of everyone involved. Safety should always be the top priority at every construction job site.

Source: osha.gov, "Plan, Provide, Train," Accessed March 15, 2015

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