Every day, millions of construction workers face countless hazards on worksites. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, there are approximately 6.5 million construction workers on 252,000 sites across the country. Unfortunately, the fatality rate in this industry is three times higher than the average occupation in the United States.
Although there is a multitude of dangers on construction sites, a significant portion of worker injuries involve ladders and scaffolding. If you work on or manage a construction site, it is important to understand how to use this equipment correctly to avoid injuries or death.
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If the worst happens and you sustain a work-related injury in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A personal-injury lawyer in Shreveport will evaluate your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and noneconomic damages. We will gather evidence, interview witnesses, structure your claim, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
Here is a brief guide for avoiding the hazards of scaffolding and ladders on construction sites:
Scaffolding is an important part of multi-story construction projects. It is a temporary fixture that gives workers easy access to the sides of a building. Although scaffolding is more stable and reliable than ladders, it is one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment on worksites.
OSHA recommends the following scaffolding safety guidelines:
- Make sure it is rigid and able to carry its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load;
- Install the scaffolding on solid footing;
- Do not use unstable objects to support the scaffolding;
- Install guardrails, toeboards and midrails for added safety;
- Remove and replace any damaged or weakened parts;
- Only use plank-grade material or equivalent, and be sure to plank scaffold tightly;
- And instruct employees about scaffolding safety and best practices.
Ladders and stairways are also common sources of injuries and fatalities on construction sites. According to OSHA, there are an estimated 24,882 injuries on ladders and stairways per year on construction sites.
The following will improve the safety of ladders and stairways:
- Inspect the ladder for defects prior to use. Pay particular attention to any structural damage, split or bent side rails, broken or missing rungs, and any missing safety devices;
- Clean off any grease or dirt that could cause a worker to slip;
- Use the correct ladder for the job;
- Make sure the ladder is the correct length;
- Mark defective ladders clearly;
- And adhere to the ladder’s load rating.
If you were injured on the job in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. A Shreveport personal-injury attorney will handle the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on recovery. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.