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Are scaffolds a danger to construction workers?

Employees working in a construction environment are often faced with scaffolding. Whether scaffolds are just a backdrop to work on the ground or you are climbing the scaffolds for work in the rafters, accidents can occur. While following safety rules do help reduce the chance of scaffold accidents, even workers who are diligent about safety can experience injuries in the workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that around 65 percent of workers in construction industries are likely to work on scaffolding on a frequent basis. In addition to scaffolds, construction workers are likely to use mechanical lifts as well as ladders or hoists to reach areas that are high. When working in such environments, injuries can occur from falls, falling objects or collapsing supports.

OSHA does provide national regulations for scaffold use. Employers and workers are required to comply with those regulations, which include construction and inspection rules. Certain scaffold types are appropriate for certain uses, and companies must use the right type of scaffold for the job and weight requirement at hand.

Failure to use the right type of scaffolding could result in an accident. Any time a worker is injured while performing duties on a construction site, they are eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits. While workers' compensation cases don't require claimants prove liability, they do have to prove that injuries occurred during the course of approved work on a job site.

In some cases, when a work is injured in a scaffold accident, employers or workers' compensation carriers might claim the worker had a preexisting condition or that the injury is not as severe as the worker claims. When this happens, a third-party legal professional working on the side of the employee may be able to help move the compensation process along in a positive direction.

Source: FindLaw, "Scaffold Injuries," accessed Aug. 21, 2015

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