4 causes of scaffolding accidents (and how to prevent them)

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Construction Accidents

Scaffolding is crucial in helping people navigate areas under construction safely, but unfortunately, these structures can also prove to be dangerous. 

Knowing what causes them and how parties can prevent them can be necessary for anyone working or living around scaffolding projects.

Falls from scaffolding

Falls are one of the most common scaffold-related accidents. People can fall from scaffolding or get hit by something that falls from it. These incidents can cause brain injuries, broken bones and other severe injuries.

Preventing fall-related accidents starts with utilizing appropriate fall prevention systems and protections, including:

  • Installing guardrails and toe boards
  • Wearing helmets and harnesses
  • Securing tools and equipment

These measures can stop a fall or keep a person safer in the event of a fall.

Weather-related incidents

Working outside on scaffolding can be highly risky if the weather does not cooperate. Wind, snow, rain and lightning can threaten a person’s safety on scaffolding and the structure itself.

Therefore, it is crucial to keep an eye on the weather. If there is a risk for slippery or windy conditions, or if there is lightning in the area, coming off the scaffolding right away can protect people from devastation.

Negligent third parties

People who have no involvement in a project whatsoever can still have an enormous impact on worker safety when it comes to scaffolding. Impaired drivers could crash into the structure; trespassing individuals could damage or alter scaffolding materials.

Preventing incidents caused by these parties can involve securing a site and restricting access.

Scaffolding collapses

Improper construction or overloading scaffolding can lead to devastating collapses. Unrepaired hazards can crumble under strain; construction machines and vehicles can be too heavy; defective materials can make the entire structure unstable.

Preventing scaffolding collapses caused by these hazards is possible when parties comply with state and federal standards. These minimize the risk of failure by providing parties with checklists and rules for using and constructing temporary structures safely.

Scaffolding accidents are not uncommon, and they often are catastrophic. However, knowing the risks to watch for and understanding how to prevent them can help everyone stay safe around these structures.


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