Scaffolding accidents – contributing factors

Scaffolding injuries usually result from negligent or careless behaviour on the part of the employer and sometimes from other workers. Although that may sound like a generalisation, there is frankly very little excuse for this type of work related accident given the comprehensive nature of the health and safety laws in the UK.

It is made crystal clear in the Work at Height Regulations 2005 that employers and managers are responsible for protecting the wellbeing of workers in the workplace when working at height. Employees should be adequately trained, risks should be assessed and all work at height should have been thoroughly planned beforehand. Employers have a responsibility to provide the right equipment and must ensure that this is in safe working order. Other legislation such as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 go into greater detail about employer’s responsibilities when it comes to equipment.

The Health and Safety Executive also provides a great deal of guidance for employers whose staff members work at height which makes you wonder how there can still be so injuries caused to workers who fall from height every year. HSE figures suggest that around 35 construction workers per week fall from height and sustain injuries. So, why so may falls from scaffolding?

• Inadequate training: too often, employees are not trained properly for working at height. This causes employees to take unnecessary risks such as running on platforms

• Badly erected scaffolding: workers with little experience are often asked to put up scaffolding which can result in injury both when putting the scaffolding up and taking it down. This may mean that nuts/bolts are missing, there is inadequate support or the structure is resting on a foreign object for support such as a van.

• Failure to regularly check on the safety of the scaffolding

• Workers being told to work on scaffolding in adverse weather conditions such as gales, torrential rain or ice.

Although it can take time, effort and sometimes some financial investment to get health and safety right, it can save a great deal of pain for employees and money in the long-term for employer’s who avoid scaffolding accidents at work.

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Make sure you don’t suffer in silence. If you sustain an injury in a scaffolding accident which was not your fault, you deserve to be compensated for the pain, suffering and financial loss you experience as a result. Our expert work accident solicitors have the skills needed to help you with your scaffolding accident compensation claim, so:

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