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The dangers of working on or around scaffolding

If you make your living working in construction, mining or another industry where you frequently rely on scaffolding, or elevated, temporary work platforms, to perform your job duties, know that there are inherent risks involved in doing so. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 65 percent of all construction workers use scaffolding regularly, and this means that about 2.3 million are at risk of suffering scaffolding-related injuries or fatalities every year.

Just how do scaffolds endanger American workers?

How scaffolds lead to injury

Scaffolds can pose a threat to you if you work on top of them, but they can also place you in danger if you work near them. If you work in the vicinity of a scaffold, but not necessarily on top of it, you are still at risk of injury caused by falling tools, materials and debris. This proves particularly true if those working on the scaffold do not properly secure the equipment on top of the platform. A scaffold can also potentially crush you if it collapses while you are working under it, which can lead to serious injury and even death.

Working on top of scaffolding is also inherently dangerous. In addition to the obvious fall risk, which you can reduce to some degree by ensuring proper erection and wearing protective gear, you also run the risk of electrocution if your scaffold is too close to nearby power lines. Additionally, if a scaffold has to bear too much weight, or if it is otherwise unstable due to improper erection or what have you, you run the risk of having the platform collapse under your feet.

When employers fail to protect workers

If you commonly work on or around scaffolding at your place of business, your employer has a duty to do everything in his or her power to maximize safety. If you suspect that your employer is not following all recommended safety guidelines, consider filing a complaint with OSHA.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

  2. "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
    - Dave

  3. "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

  5. "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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