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Scaffolding accidents: a serious threat to worker safety

There are countless major construction projects well underway across New Jersey. And with winter just around the corner, companies are pushing to complete projects before the snow and frigid weather roll in. 

This race against the clock doesn't exactly make work sites safer for construction workers who already face a host of dangerous conditions on the job. For instance, scaffolding could present a serious threat to workers and others when they are improperly built, secured or disassembled.

Scaffolding is a common, critical element to many large-scale construction and renovation projects. However, it also is the source of many serious accidents and fatalities. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, dozens of people are killed every year in scaffolding accidents. Just recently, two workers died after the scaffolding on which they were working collapsed.

Scaffolding collapse is just one type of incident involving scaffolding that can result in worker injury or death. Other accidents involve:

  • Falls from scaffolding because of a lack of safety gear
  • Being hit by falling materials
  • Slipping on slick surfaces
  • Being crushed by poorly secured supports or planks

These types of accidents are often preventable by complying with safety standards and avoiding working in dangerous weather conditions. Workers should also have proper training and safety gear to minimize any injuries in the event of an accident.

However, when parties are trying to complete a project or save money as they are nearing completion of a project, there could be a tendency to look for shortcuts. In the context of scaffolding, this could mean rushing through the construction, requiring workers to work in dangerous conditions like extreme wind, or approving the use of substandard materials. 

Whatever the reasons might be leading up to a scaffolding accident, injured workers and their families should understand that they may be eligible for compensation. Of course, legal action won't undo a devastating accident, but it can make it easier to cope with the damages and potentially prevent other people from suffering a similar incident.

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