Construction scaffolds are common on construction sites and can be used for a variety of tasks. However, they can also be dangerous.
Workers can suffer serious injuries when they use them incorrectly. This can happen if the scaffold is not properly constructed or if it has been neglected for a long time.
1. Falling from the Scaffold
Scaffolding is a temporary work platform that allows workers to access hard-to-reach places and heights without the need for ladders. It can save time and money, but it also comes with a definite risk of fall-related accidents.
When these accidents occur, they can lead to serious physical injuries and even death. Injuries may include traumatic brain damage, broken bones, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injuries.
Fortunately, scaffolds can be constructed safely when the correct safety measures are in place. These precautions can include fall arrest systems, guard rails, and safety straps.
However, accidents can occur at any time. Overloaded scaffolds, faulty construction, failure at attachment points, and other mistakes by employees can all contribute to dangerous scaffolding incidents.
2. Getting Struck by Objects
Getting struck by objects is a common scaffold incident, which can result in injuries and even death. Objects such as hammers, tools and materials can fall from a higher level, striking workers on lower levels.
It is important for all construction personnel to be aware of this hazard. They need to install toe boards or netting on their work platforms and erect barricades that physically prevent people from walking underneath them.
Then, they need to adhere to safety rules when using their personal protective equipment. This includes making sure they use the designated access to climb on scaffolds and never using free-standing ladders or boxes, which could tip over and cause a fall.
Regardless of how you were injured, it is important to seek medical help immediately after any scaffolding accident. The sooner you get medical attention, the faster the injuries can heal. It’s also important to speak with a legal team that will be able to represent you in your claim for damages.
3. Collapsing Scaffolds
Scaffolds are often used to reach higher floors and ceilings, but they can also be deadly when they collapse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), scaffold-related accidents occur regularly and result in around 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries every year.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established strict safety standards for scaffolds. These requirements cover everything from construction materials to proper erecting of the scaffold itself.
Work crews must carefully calculate the weight of tools, materials or workers on a scaffold and only go over its maximum load limits when necessary. Overloading can cause a scaffold to collapse and may even result in death.
Despite these strict standards, some construction sites fail to adhere to them. Violations of these laws can be a significant contributor to the number of scaffold-related incidents and injuries that happen on a construction site.
4. Catching Between an Immovable Object
Many scaffolding accidents happen because workers get caught between an immovable object, like a wall or a ladder, and a piece of heavy machinery. This can result in crushing injuries that cause broken bones, serious bruising and even concussions.
This classic philosophical paradox is also known as the irresistible force or shield and spear paradox, and was formulated by philosophers as “What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?”
It’s implicitly assumed that the unstoppable force and the immovable object are both indestructible, or else this question would have a trivial resolution. Then again, they’re both entities that have their own defining property, which allows them to conserve this property when they collide.
In allowing themselves to be changed by trusting and respecting each other, the unstoppable force and the immovable objects learn that they are more than what they were originally given. This allows them to grow and become more than what they were, and they’ll never give up on their purpose or allow their arrogance to keep them from evolving.