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Scaffolding safety requirements on construction sites

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Personal Injury

New Jersey construction jobs range from retail centers and high rise buildings to hospitals and infrastructure projects. They are a sign of a growing, thriving economy. However, construction workers must deal with various hazards every day, making it one of the most dangerous careers in the country. We often represent clients who sustain catastrophic injuries on a construction site.

According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, failure to meet scaffolding safety requirements is among the most frequent OHSA citations.

Scaffolding types

Traditional scaffolding for smaller projects combines galvanized fittings and tubes with boards for a structure that helps workers get to locations too high or large for ladders. However, when working on tall buildings, the structure gets its support from ropes and pulleys, not the ground.  There are three primary types of suspended scaffolding.

  • A boatswain’s chair or single-point adjustable scaffold involves one rope suspending the platform from above. It allows for use on different levels.
  • A swing stage or two-point scaffold employs stirrups connected at each corner, held by ropes or cables at each end.
  • A multi-point scaffold can involve two or more platforms, which are suspended by more than two ropes, allowing work on several levels. Being suspended allows for easy adjustments and increases productivity as fewer structures are necessary.

Worksite safety requirements

Safety Culture reports that more than 60% of the construction industry relies on scaffolding. Proper training and qualified engineers can ensure the worksite has the right type of structure for the job. Guardrails are a passive form of protection that helps prevent falls. Employers must also train workers, providing best practices that can reduce fatalities and catastrophic injuries. There may be grounds for a claim in situations in which there is employer negligence.