Scaffolds a Common Cause of Fall Accidents for North Carolina Workers Injured on the Job

Recently, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) renewed its association with the Scaffold Industry Association Incorporated (SIA). The goal is to protect the health and safety of workers from falls and other hazards related to working on scaffolds.

Our workers’ compensation lawyers of Charlotte know that falls are the leading cause of injuries and death among construction workers and is a frequent topic we post about on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog.
“The materials developed through our Alliance are valuable resources for training and educating workers on the hazards they can face in their jobs and how they can be prevented,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Four of the ten most frequently cited OSHA construction standards involve scaffolding, so renewing this Alliance is a great opportunity to build on our work to better protect the men and women who work on scaffolds.”

The nationwide Alliance between SIA and OSHA was first signed in 2008. Since that time, jointly they have developed safety material regarding Mast Climbing Work Platforms and Transport Platforms relating to scaffold and fall hazards. Most of the safety material has been translated into Portuguese and Spanish for workers whose primary language isn’t English.

Goals for this joint venture include:

-raising awareness of OSHA’s enforcement and rulemaking plans -creating new and innovative education and training programs -performing outreach and communication activities on employee’s rights and worker’s responsibilities.

Both organizations will not stop emphasizing the importance of scaffold safety, including matters related to suspended scaffolding, aerial lift equipment and mast climbing scaffolding. SIA was founded in 1972 and is a national trade organization that represents the aerial lift, scaffold and access industry. Promoting safety is the goal of SIA by creating audiovisual programs, training and educational classes and codes of safe practices.

The organization has at least 1,000 member companies that include aerial platform dealers; scaffold and shoring erectors and renters; plank and platform distributors; safety and engineering consultants; government officials; aerial platform distributors and plank and platform manufacturers.

OSHA’s Alliance Program assists groups who are committed to making their workplaces safer and healthier by preventing illnesses, injuries and fatalities. These groups can be trade or professional organizations, educational institutions, unions, consulates, faith- and community-based organizations and businesses. OSHA and these groups work in unison to share information with employees and employers, create compliance helping tools and resources, and teach employees and employers about their responsibilities and rights.

Even though a company is part of OSHA’s Alliance Program they are not exempt from an OSHA inspection. Anyone using scaffolding needs to be trained on:

-How to access and use the scaffold components.
-How to prevent electrical hazards while on a scaffold.
-How to protect those working below the scaffold from a falling object hazard.
-Know the scaffold’s load capacity.
-Know when and how to use fall protection equipment.

If you are dealing with a work accident in North Carolina or a workers’ compensation or disability claim, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More blog entries:

Stairways and Ladders Create High Risk of Injury for North Carolina Construction Workers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 25, 2011

90-Day Partial Leniency Offered to Employers for Fall Accidents at North Carolina Job Sites, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 22, 2011

Carolina Work Accident Injuries Construction Workers when Church Roof Collapses, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, April 3, 2011

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