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What do OSHA regulations say about scaffolds?

If you've been working on a scaffold that's in need of repair, your employer could be in violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety regulations. OSHA has designated specific rules that apply to scaffolds at New Jersey construction sites. Failure to adhere to those rules could result in fines and liability concerns for a construction company.

According to OSHA rules, scaffolds need to adhere to the following standards:

-- Scaffolds must adhere to all OSHA standards that apply to the particular type and application of scaffold being used.

-- Every scaffold component has to hold its own weight, in addition to four times the intended load capacity of the component.

-- Suspension ropes incorporated in the scaffold need to support six times the intended load.

-- Inspections need to be performed on a regular basis by a competent person.

-- During inspections, the inspector must look for visible defects prior to using the scaffold at every shift change.

-- A competent person must supervise the moving, dismantling, erecting and altering of scaffolds.

-- Personal protection equipment designed to prevent falls -- like body belts and harnesses -- must also be inspected prior to each use.

-- Any components of the scaffold deemed to be worn out or in need of service must be immediately removed and fixed.

If you have been injured while using a scaffold at work, you can probably qualify to receive workers' compensation benefits. If successfully navigated a workers' compensation claim may bring you money to pay for your medical care, time spent unable to work and other benefits.

Source: FindLaw, "Scaffold Injuries," accessed May 26, 2017

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