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Scaffolding hazards can be reduced by safety professionals

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A full 65 percent of people who work in the construction industry have to use scaffolding systems, and many of them use these setups on a fairly consistent basis. This means that around 2.3 million workers across the United States—with many of them in New York—are exposed to numerous risks day in and day out.

After all, falls are the biggest cause of death in the construction industry. Scaffolding systems are a simple way to reach high work stations, but they also create a working environment in which a potentially deadly fall is all the more likely.

In 2012, 57 workers were killed when they fell while climbing or standing on scaffolding platforms.

One way to reduce this is for construction workers to get the training that they need and for construction companies to work with dedicated safety professionals. Many falls and similar accidents happen to untrained workers or in an environment in which safety protocols and procedures have not been used properly.

For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has carried out studies and found that around 25 percent of the various workers who were injured while using scaffolding systems had not been trained at all for scaffold safety. Moreover, a full 77 percent of the systems that were in use did not have any guardrails. When looking at safety violations and citations, scaffolding issues typically hit the top 10, even ranking third in 2013, when 5,423 citations were given out.

These are all key points that safety professionals can address to make the workplace safer.

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, be sure that you know your rights to compensation.

Source: OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, “Safety Professionals Play a Vital Role in Reducing Scaffolding Hazards and Preventing Accidents,” Julia Dozier, accessed Sep. 11, 2015

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.