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Do you work with scaffolds? Here's how to stay safe

Most California construction workers have a lot of experience working on scaffolds. As such, if you work at a construction site, you've probably helped assemble scaffolding and used it to carry out your job responsibilities. Due to the prevalence of their use, it's probably not surprising that scaffold-related injuries are some of the most common among construction workers.

Those using scaffolds are often high up in the air, working from a height of multiple stories. For example, maybe you're painting the third story of a building's exterior. Or maybe you're installing windows on the second story. These heights can mean catastrophic injuries for the workers who take a fall. To avoid an accident and injuries like this, California hardhats are encouraged to follow these scaffold safety tips:

  • Select a solid surface for your scaffold: The more stable the surface, the more stable your scaffold will be. Never erect your scaffold on unsolid ground that could cause one side of the scaffold to sink or become wobbly.
  • Select even ground for your scaffold: A scaffold built on level ground will be more stable, and workers will have fewer chances of falling.
  • Keep your scaffold at least 10 feet away from power lines: The closer you are to a live wire, the more chances there are of suffering a fatal electrocution.
  • Don't let an untrained person erect your scaffold: Only allow appropriately trained workers to put a scaffold together, as inexperienced people will not know how to ensure the scaffold's safety.
  • Keep weight loads within specifications: Never overload a scaffold with more weight than it's approved to carry.
  • Double-check the sturdiness of the scaffold: Are all parts sturdy? Are any pieces damaged or unsteady?
  • Repair problem parts: Make repairs to the scaffold as soon as you identify a problem.

Use common sense

Aside from the above recommendations, California construction workers who use scaffolds should also use their common sense at all times. Being responsible will avoid the majority of accidents. That said, if you do suffer a construction accident and injuries on the job - no matter how the injuries occurred - you may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits to pay for your medical care.

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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