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Scaffolding use can result in a workplace accident

Depending on your profession, using scaffolding to complete your job may be second nature. You know how to set it up, tear it down and climb it safely. But what you may not realize is that there is trouble lurking around every corner.

If you require the use of scaffolding in the workplace, it's critical to understand the steps you can take to maintain your safety. Here are five things you must do:

  • Inspect scaffolding before use: Don't assume that your scaffolding is free of damage and defects. Instead, you or a co-worker should closely inspect it for anything that could cause an accident, such as rusting or missing pieces.
  • Don't exceed the load rating: Know the manufacturer's recommended load rating and stick to it, no matter what. If you exceed this limit, the scaffolding is more likely to buckle under too much pressure.
  • Always use safety rails: Even the most experienced workers can make mistakes. The use of safety rails helps keep you on the platform, as opposed to falling off the side.
  • Keep the scaffolding platform free of debris: For example, it's never a good idea to place too many tools on the platform, as doing so increases the likelihood of a slip-and-fall accident.
  • Check your safety gear: Are you wearing non-slip shoes with plenty of tread? How about a hard hat? The right gear can be the difference between suffering an injury in an accident and avoiding one altogether.

Don't let your experience and knowledge of scaffolding make you too comfortable. If this happens, you're more likely to cut corners, which increases the likelihood of an accident and injury.

If you're injured in a scaffolding accident at your place of employment, assess your health, call for help and report the incident to your employer.

Once you receive medical treatment, you'll have a clear idea of your injuries, prognosis and the impact on your future.

Depending on the severity of the injury and treatment schedule, you may be unable to immediately return to work. In this case, file a claim for workers' compensation benefits as a means of securing your finances during this difficult time.

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