A recent Ohio scaffolding accident ended safely after first responders reported that the workers involved had escaped.
Police officers and local witnesses say that two workers were on scaffolding around the 20th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower in Downtown Cincinnati when one side of the scaffolds suddenly broke loose.
One local woman mentioned that she saw the workers swinging the rig towards the building. In a dangerous climb, the two men were able to reach a ledge of the massive building. By the time the fire crew had arrived, the workers were already safe.
We should all be glad these two men made it out, but the incident raises questions about safety standards. What exactly are the rules for scaffolding, and who is responsible in the event of a scaffolding accident?
What is responsible for a scaffolding accident?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that roughly 65 percent of all construction workers spend a good portion of their time working on scaffolding. They also report that these structures are one of the most common sources of work-related accidents.
OSHA scaffold regulations provide detailed instructions on safety rules for employers. Scaffolds must be able to hold four times as much as their intended load, and must undergo regular inspection. All related safety equipment must also be inspected regularly and quickly replaced if damaged.
Since the exact cause of this particular accident is still unknown, we can’t say if the employer made any safety errors, but we can discuss the most common causes of these sort of accidents.
Improper fall protection
Improper scaffold construction
These are the most common causes of scaffolding accidents, and all of them are preventable. Workers injured should typically qualify for workers’ compensation. Construction workers have tough jobs, and they deserve to do them safely. It’s lucky that these workers got home safely, but the ideal is that these accidents don’t happen at all.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC is a workers’ compensation law firm that has been fighting for Ohio workers for more than 80 years.