Construction workers in North Carolina may deal with a number of job-related hazards on a daily basis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 65 percent of workers in the construction industry frequently work at heights on scaffolds. This also means that some of the most common accidents suffered by construction workers involve scaffolds and related equipment, like lifts, ladders and hoists. Because they take place from heights, the injuries caused by scaffolding accidents can be severe and life-changing.
While accidents can happen even on generally safe scaffolding equipment, workplace injuries are more likely when defective, unsafe or improperly used equipment is involved. In addition, when employers fail to provide training on safety or fall-prevention equipment, workers may be more likely to suffer serious injuries. Construction workers can also face harm from falling objects above them as they have little area to escape the impact. Employers have a responsibility to comply with OSHA regulations for worker safety when using scaffolding and other equipment at heights.
In the first place, the design and construction of scaffolds should meet federal requirements for capacities, construction methods and method of use. Every scaffold on a construction site must be strong enough to handle four times the maximum load intended for use in addition to its own weight. This equipment must also be regularly inspected, with worn items immediately removed from service.
When workers are injured while on a scaffold, they can face severe injuries and permanent disabilities that force them out of work. However, these employees can consult with a workers' compensation attorney. A lawyer can help a client protect their rights and access the benefits they deserve.