People who work at height are faced with the risk of accident and injury every day. Those who work with scaffolding are particularly at risk as there are so many things that employers must consider before it can be considered safe to work with scaffolding.
A Construction Index article last year confirmed that scaffolding accidents rose by 9 per cent in one year from 2013 to 2014. I’d certainly hope that, with more awareness around the dangers faced by scaffolding workers, this figure would start to fall in the coming years.
With this in mind, here are 4 risks regularly faced by scaffolding workers:
- Falls from height – the biggest causes of death or serious injury in the construction injury is falls from height. Working on scaffolding adds an extra risk as the scaffold structure needs to be assembled first.
For more information, see: The Dangers of Construction Sites and Working at Height
- Scaffold collapse – if it’s not put together properly, scaffolding can be very dangerous. All it takes is for one loose bolt or one inadequately supported section for the scaffolding to collapse, putting workers at serious risk.
Even if scaffolding is erected perfectly, employers should check there are no defective parts such as broken boards.
- Inadequate safety equipment – employers must make sure scaffolding workers are supplied with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
They must also ensure that any safety equipment specific to scaffolding is fit for purpose. Loose harnesses, inadequate hand rails and the absence of safety nets have been known to be contributing factors in many building site accident claims.
- Bad weather – poor weather can wreak havoc for outdoor workers, and can put those who work with scaffolding at a high risk of injury.
Employers shouldn’t make you work in any unsafe conditions and should consider postponing scaffolding work until the weather improves.
Employers have a duty of care to their employees. They should make sure the workplace is a safe environment for all and that nobody is put at risk from external factors such as bad weather.
If you’ve been injured at work through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. Seeking the advice of an expert work accident solicitor should be your first step.
Tracey Benson is a senior associate solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK and has represented many clients who’ve been seriously injured in work accidents.
Slater and Gordon have an expert team of personal injury solicitors who specialise in work accident compensation claims and all matters concerning employers’ liability. We offer a free initial consultation and home or hospital visits for seriously injured people who can’t attend one of our offices.
Call us for a free consultation anytime on 0800 916 9046. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, contact us online and we’ll call you.
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