Scaffolds are elevated, temporary platforms that are commonly used on work sites in New York City, and throughout the state. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that 65 percent of those working in the construction industry work on these types of platforms. If you are a construction worker, then you likely understand just how dangerous scaffolds can be. There are things you can do, however, to reduce your likelihood of being injured in a scaffolding accident.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to ensure that any scaffolds you are working on conform to the construction safety regulations. As such, you should avoid using scaffolds that were not designed and constructed by experienced workers. Furthermore, it is advisable to refrain from using makeshift platforms. By making sure that the base plates, footers and sills are on solid ground, it may help avoid some scaffolding collapses.
When mounting scaffolds, you should use a ladder, and not climb the braces. This can pull the scaffold off balance, which may result in a collapse. Additionally, it is suggested that you avoid off balance positions while working on scaffolds. This is particularly important when prying, pulling or pushing objects.
Depending on the work you are doing, you may be using different tools and materials. It is a good idea to keep these supplies away from the edge of the scaffold while you are working. Such items may easily be knocked off of the side, and could fall on others who are working below you. Additionally, it may be beneficial to rope off the area underneath scaffolds that are in use. This may help prevent your co-workers from getting struck by falling objects. It may also help block others from bumping into the scaffold’s supports, which could knock these types of structures off balance and potentially cause a collapse.