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Occupational Safety and Health Administration and scaffolding

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created strict rules and regulations surrounding the use of scaffolding. The federal safety agency wrote these rules because construction workers use scaffolding often, and because scaffolding can break and deteriorate. They also create the opportunity for workers to fall and seriously hurt themselves. Unfortunately, serious scaffolding-related injuries happen regularly, and sometimes they are fatal.

Here are some of the most important OSHA regulations that pertain to scaffolding:

-- Scaffolds must support their own weight in addition to four times the intended maximum load without failing. Suspension ropes need to support at least six times their intended maximum weight.

-- Scaffolds must comply with all OSHA requirements that apply to the type of scaffold and its rated capacities, method of construction and intended use.

-- A competent person must be assigned to inspect all scaffolding.

-- Scaffolds must be inspected for visible defects before every shift.

-- Scaffold safety equipment, like belts, harnesses, drop lines, lanyards, anchor points and trolley lines must be inspected before every shift.

-- Erection, moving and dismantling of scaffolds must be supervised by a competent person.

-- Equipment that's damaged or worn must be removed from service.

Construction workers in New Jersey frequently get hurt while using scaffolding. In fact, scaffolding injuries are some of the most common in the construction industry throughout the United States. If you or a loved one was hurt while using scaffolding, know that you may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits to finance your medical bills and time spent unable to work while recovering from you work-related injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Scaffolding Injuries," accessed March 03, 2017

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