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What Are the Major Causes of Scaffolding Accidents?

man walking across scaffold

Scaffolding accidents are one of the most common construction site accidents that can lead to severe injuries or even death. Scaffolds are temporary structures erected on construction sites to support workers and materials during construction, repairs, and maintenance projects. However, when these structures are not set up properly or maintained, they can pose significant risks to workers and bystanders.

Below, we discuss the 10 most common factors that contribute to scaffolding accidents, such as:

  1. Scaffolding defects. Scaffolds should undergo thorough inspections by qualified professionals before and after each use. Scaffolding components, including planks, bolts, and braces, should be free of visible defects, tears, or cracks. However, defective scaffolding can lead to the collapse of the entire structure or individual components and cause workers to fall or become entrapped in the scaffolding structure.
  2. Improper construction. Improper scaffolding construction is a leading cause of scaffolding accidents. The lack of expertise or care in the assembly of the scaffolding structure can lead to collapses, tip-overs, and other directions that can cause severe injuries.
  3. Insufficient maintenance. After scaffolding construction, it is essential to maintain the structure regularly. Lack of maintenance can cause components like the platforms, braces, or planks to break down or fall apart, potentially leading to severe accidents.
  4. Improper usage. Workers should follow safety regulations while working on scaffolding structures. This includes fall protection gear, keeping the scaffolding clean and organized, not overloading the scaffold, and never standing on the top rung of the ladder.
  5. Unsafe weather conditions. Scaffolding should never be used during extreme weather conditions like strong winds or heavy rain that can compromise the scaffolding structure's stability.
  6. Material incompatibility. Scaffolding components should be selected and assembled based on their compatibility with each other. The wrong components may not fit correctly, compromising the stability of the scaffolding.
  7. Inadequate training. Workers should be adequately trained in scaffolding usage, including erecting, dismantling, and working on the scaffold securely.
  8. No fall protection equipment. To prevent scaffolding falls, workers should ensure that they have personal protective equipment that includes fall protection gear.
  9. Inadequate supervision. Proper supervision of workers on scaffolding structures, including regular inspections and timely reporting of any issues, is crucial in preventing scaffolding accidents.
  10. Negligence. The ultimate cause of most scaffolding accidents is negligence. When the workers, contractors, or site owners do not take the appropriate measures that suit their responsibilities, it may lead to severe accidents.

Injured in a Scaffolding Accident? Contact Us Today!

To prevent such accidents, it is vital to recognize and address the common causes of scaffolding accidents. While workers have an essential role to play in ensuring their safety while working on scaffolds, the contractors and site owners are equally or even more accountable for providing an environment that is safe for everyone. If you or a loved one have been the victim of negligence at a construction site accident, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli provide high-quality legal services and can help you develop an individualized case strategy.

Call (516) 628-6402 to schedule a complimentary consultation. 

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