The construction industry is a dangerous one. Construction workers in Iowa are often tasked with performing their job duties near heavy machinery and moving vehicles, they are often exposed to toxic substances and they frequently operate at great heights. While regulations are in place to ensure that these workers are as safe as possible while on the job, the sad reality is that many of them wind up injured in workplace accidents.
One way these accidents occur is by scaffolding falls. About two-thirds of all construction workers carry out tasks on scaffolds, which puts them at risk of suffering injuries in a fall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the design and construction of this equipment, mandating that each scaffold hold its own weight in addition to four times the maximum allowable load. In addition, every support rope must be able to handle at least six times the maximum load.
Employers should inspect scaffolding, too, to better ensure that it is not defective. Such inspections should occur prior to every shift. Individuals who are experienced and competent enough to build and deconstruct scaffolding should be left in charge of that duty to ensure that it is handled in a fashion that will further worker safety. In addition to inspection, employers should make sure that workers are adequately trained on how to properly use scaffolding and provide them with any safety equipment that is needed.
Of course, far too often construction companies try to cut corners to save money and time at the expense of worker safety. This can have tragic consequences. Workers can be seriously injured or killed, and they and their families are often left struggling to figure out how to make ends meet due to lost wages. Fortunately, those who are injured in a workplace accident may be able to pursue workers' compensation. The process isn't easy, though, so those who want to learn more about seeking workers' compensation may want to discuss the matter with a professional.