What Are the Risks of Working on Scaffolding?


Construction workers face dangers every time they work on scaffolding. Working at greater heights poses serious risks on the job.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 65% of construction workers perform their jobs on scaffolds. Preventative measures should be in place to avert catastrophe. Unfortunately, not every employer provides proper training or protection to keep workers on scaffolding safely.

As a result, there are common risks that occur, leaving workers with serious injuries or causing families to lose a cherished loved one.  

The Biggest Risks for Workers on Scaffolding

While there are many risks for those who have to work on scaffolding, these are the most common: 

Falling from Scaffolding

Scaffolding reaches great heights, automatically raising the risk for workers. Falling off of scaffolding can happen due to a lack of guardrails or from slipping or tripping. Footwear that isn’t suited for the job can also play a role since it won’t provide the necessary traction.

Wet weather also increases the risks, especially in New York. With ice, snow, water, or wind, the risks only rise for workers on scaffolding.

Getting Struck by Falling Objects

Since scaffolding has many levels, there is always a danger for the workers on the scaffolding below to be struck by falling objects from above. Tools, paint cans, bricks, and other items can be knocked off a higher level, striking fellow workers in the proximity of the scaffolding.


When workers have to weld, cut, or perform other types of work using electrical equipment, electrocution hazards could occur. While OSHA has guidelines for electrical work on scaffolding, inexperienced workers may not have been provided with the necessary training to keep safe. Likewise, employers may not have given their workers the proper safety equipment.

Scaffolds that are built from metal have an even greater electrocution risk. Regardless of the scaffolding material, any scaffold that is set near energized power lines can lead to electrocutions.

Scaffolding Collapses

Another of the biggest risks with scaffolding is a collapse, taking all the workers on it at the time. When scaffolds are not built to the proper specifications, they can collapse. Naturally, OSHA has regulations for all types of scaffolding. Suspended scaffolds are required to use strong ropes to securely attach them to a permanent structure.

Additionally, any tiebacks, hoists, and locking systems should be inspected regularly to keep up with regulations. Sadly, some employers cut corners, and those that pay the ultimate price are the employees.

Most Common Injuries from Scaffolding

When scaffolding accidents occur, the injuries are often extreme. Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones top the list.

Unfortunately, many workers do not survive these injuries, leaving behind broken-hearted family members. There are always questions surrounding the circumstances, namely, what could have been done to prevent the accident?

Often, many scaffolding accidents can be prevented by employers. If you think negligence played a hand in your scaffolding injury, you should speak with a New York scaffolding accident lawyer


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