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Protection from scaffolding falls

There always seems to be construction going on in New York, and falls from scaffolding are common reasons for workers' compensation claims. Safety in regard to scaffolding and associated equipment must be a priority for employers and workers, and proper controls and procedures need to be in place.

Georgia Tech states that the number of people who are injured due to construction-related falls is more than 100,000 every year. Death from scaffolding accidents occurs in around 50 cases per year, and the causes include falls, collapses, falling debris, electrocution and improper planking. Falling from a height of 10 feet or more is especially hazardous, and OSHA has set out regulations in regard to these situations. Some of the safety requirements include:

  • Base and mud plates must be used for stabilization
  • Guard rails must be provided
  • There must be safe access provided for getting on and off
  • Materials and tools must be neatly organized
  • Scaffolds must not be overloaded
  • Scaffolding equipment must be level

In New York, construction plans must be reviewed before a job is approved. In terms of scaffolding, the NYC Building Code requires companies to submit a variety of information about the project and the support safety. At minimum, they must provide the elevation and plan dimensions and views. This includes where the scaffolding will be located, how it will be anchored, any related hoisting equipment and all support devices involved. Information provided also includes the type of scaffolding, the height of the building, the platform construction material and the safety training requirements for all workers.

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