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How to stay safe when working on scaffolding

Depending on your job, you may find yourself working on scaffolding every now and again. While this sounds simple enough, you should never overlook the fact that one misstep could cause a serious accident.

There are many steps you can take to remain safe when working on scaffolding, including but not limited to the following:

  • Proper inspection. You don't want to use scaffolding before inspecting it for defects or damage. Don't get into the habit of believing that scaffolding lasts forever, as this isn't true.
  • Avoid an overload. Scaffolding can only hold so much weight. You need to know the limit and then do whatever it takes to ensure that it's not exceeded.
  • Place scaffolding on stable and level ground. Neglecting to do so greatly increases the chance that the equipment will fail, thus causing a fall.
  • Lock wheels in place before use, to keep the scaffolding from moving.
  • Wear the appropriate shoes, such as those that are non-slip.
  • Don't place anything on the edge of the scaffolding, as this can lead to an item falling to the ground below (and striking another worker).
  • Don't place scaffolding in close proximity to power lines. As a general rule of thumb, there should be a minimum of 10 feet of space.

If you have experience working on scaffolding, it's easy to get lazy. It's easy to assume that nothing has gone wrong in the past, so nothing will happen in the future. You don't want to get stuck in this rut, as it only takes one mistake to cause injury.

If you are part of a scaffolding accident, such as a fall to the ground below, stay where you are until medical help arrives.

Once you learn more about your injuries, you'll want to focus on what comes next. In addition to treatment, make sure you learn more about the workers' compensation system. If you are unable to return to your job, you may qualify to receive benefits. This money can ease your financial pain as you recover.

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