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Scaffolding accidents pose a real danger to construction workers

Scaffolds are present on many construction sites and present a danger for construction workers who work on them along with heavy machinery and building materials. Unfortunately, the nature of harm resulting from scaffolding falls can include both serious injuries and death.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk of harm to construction workers who are working on scaffolding. According to OSHA, all scaffolds should be constructed according to the manufacturer's instructions. In addition, guardrail systems should be installed along any and all open sides of the scaffolding platforms and at the end of the scaffolding platforms. Certain scaffolds should utilize guardrail systems; personal fall arrest systems; and safe access to scaffold platforms should be provided.

Construction workers' accidents can threaten the livelihood of workers and place physical, financial and emotional stress on families. Because of this, it is important for construction workers and their families to keep in mind the resources that may be available to help them. Workers' compensation options may exist for injured workers to recover medical expenses and lost wages. In addition, in some circumstances, a claim for damages may provide compensation for physical, financial and emotional harm the construction worker has suffered following an accident on the job.

Because each job-site accident is different, it is important to understand the complexities that surround options for relief that may be available to injured construction workers, construction workers otherwise harmed and their families. Protection of construction workers is an important goal and different legal options exist to help ensure their safety and provide assistance when a construction worker has been harmed.

Source: Occupational Health and Safety Administration, "Improper Scaffold Construction," Accessed Dec. 27, 2014

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