Scaffolding is a necessary part of any form of construction when a site, building or development needs to occur. Workers who are on location in these situations will have undertaken all of their training and passed their qualifications to obtain a license or contract, but that does not mean errors and accidents won’t be prevented.
No matter what conditions are presented in the aftermath, scaffoldings are often linked to a series of injuries and deaths sustained by operators who invested their trust in a structure that was intended to protect them.
Whilst the investors and developers want a process that is efficient and timely, there will always be mishaps and tragedies where a detail along the way could make the world of difference.
Here we will outline some common scenarios that will see professionals placed in danger as we discuss the aftermath of incidents that occur in this department.
Workers Falling Down
Scaffoldings are hot spots when it comes to workers falling from a beam, pipe or plank. The distance could be short or it could be long and fatal. This can result in spinal injuries, damage to vital internal organs, bones shattered and broken to brain damage, lacerations and concussion. Some cases have seen a professional simply lose their balance with a false step or a lack of vision due to poor light, whilst others have been due to a technical fault.
Materials Falling Down
Debris and materials that drop down from atop scaffoldings are often found to be the cause of serious injury or death on construction sites. The idea is that these structures are utilised for efficiency and workers, despite the listed rules, regulations and guidelines when it comes to the possession and maintenance of their equipment, can leave tools around. From hammers and nails to drills, buckets, wires, bricks, types of wood and other materials that form their building practice, these are goods that can drop and become missiles waiting to cause havoc down below.
Suffering From Environmental Exposure
Scaffoldings are usually developed with an understanding of the natural landscape around them, but there are elements that can come into play that completely compromise their condition. Think of severe wind, rain, hail, heat, frost and other environmental exposures that can completely diminish a construct. It is when workers do not facilitate this eventuality that mistakes and errors are made.
Failure of Correct Construction
Scaffoldings are subject to human error like any other type of construction. Whether it is balance beams that were not aligned properly, a bolt that became unhinged or the condition of wood that eroded due to the weather, the fault of an accident in these scenarios are often defined by the lack of awareness during construction.
Scaffold Forms Where Injuries Occur
There are all manner of scaffoldings that can be classified and categorised within the construction industry. Whilst some formats are utilised for a particular purpose such as for a small house extension or for a large conglomerate working on a multi-year project, each facet still carries a certain degree of risk. These include aerial lifts, standard platforms, ladder jacks, mobile scaffolds, roof brackets and top plate scaffolds.
How To Avoid Injury
There are steps that can be taken when thinking about the safety of working in and around scaffoldings. Ensure that the design first and foremost has the capacity to support the weight of the professionals utilising the equipment. Those individuals should also undertake the right amount of training and passed their qualifications, not only for insurance purposes but to maintain a degree of professionalism and awareness about the risks and dangers involved.
What Step To Take When Accidents Happen
In the event that a worker or workers are injured via a fault with scaffoldings, then they are advised to seek out their union body, their insurer and any legal representation where necessary.