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Important points to remember to avoid a scaffolding accident

For an Arizona construction worker, the need to work on a scaffold is unavoidable. While this is a common part of the workday and many have experience with it, a scaffolding accident can occur even to the most conscientious and knowledgeable worker. There are certain procedures that must be in place for the safety of workers when they are on a scaffold. If a construction accident occurs on a jobsite, it is key to know whether the company and supervisors were following safety rules for their employees.

The scaffold must be built according to the proper specifications for both safety and functionality. When it is moved from one place to another, there are other procedures that must be followed to ensure that it is safe. A person with experience and knowledge in scaffolds must oversee it. If there is a danger, then the work must be stopped. The specifications according to the manufacturer must be adhered to. With a scaffold, the ground conditions, integrity of the building that is providing support, distance from power lines and overhead are all key factors for safety.

There is even a danger to construction workers when the scaffold is being built and dismantled. If the ground is filled, soft or frozen, then there must be extra precautions taken. All equipment is required to be in accordance with the rules for safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a requirement that the scaffold be secured to the building if the height goes beyond four times the minimum base width. The bottom and vertical ties also have rules for the construction to make certain it is safe.

For scaffolds that are 10 feet or higher, there must be guardrails with a minimum amount of pressure the scaffold can withstand. Workers must have personal fall protection available if the scaffold is more than 10 feet high. Prior to every shift, there must be inspections to look for stability, cross-bracing to make sure the structure is square, safety of guardrails and to check for damage, cracks and wear-and-tear. If a worker has been injured or killed in a scaffolding accident, there is the possibility that rules for safety were violated. For assistance, the injured person should speak to a lawyer experienced in workplace accidents.

Source: risk.arizona.edu, "Scaffolding Safety," accessed on Aug. 18, 2015

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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