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Injured on the job: a look at scaffold injuries

There are many jobs in which West Virginia residents can work to support themselves. Some are relatively safe, such as white collar jobs that require a lot of computer work. Others, however, are not so safe. Some jobs, such as those in the construction industry, require workers to put themselves in danger on a daily basis. Many risk their lives just to earn a living. There are certain protections that help ensure employers provide a safe work environment. However, unsafe working conditions are still a reality that put workers at risk of injury or worse.

One of the more common types of injuries construction workers face is scaffold injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides an interesting statistic -- approximately 65 percent of construction workers frequently work on scaffolds. Due to the ubiquity of scaffolds, and their inherent danger, scaffold accidents are among the more common types of construction mishaps.

OSHA had requirements that every employer must abide by. These affect the design and construction, as well as the required inspections. Rated capacities, types of equipment, use and construction methods are all regulated by OSHA requirements. Each scaffold and scaffold component must be capable of withstanding a certain amount of weight -- i.e., four times the maximum intended load without failure. If any component or scaffold does not meet these standards, catastrophes can occur.

When a worker is injured in a scaffolding accident, he or she has options. They may wish to connect with an attorney in order to understand their next steps. These may include pursuing workers' compensation, which may help an injured worker obtain the compensation he or she needs to meet the necessities of everyday life. Workers' compensation claims can be difficult to navigate, but victims do not need to undergo the process alone.

Source: FindLaw, "Scaffold Injuries," Accessed on April 9, 2017

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