As previous posts on this blog have discussed, one of the biggest dangers construction workers in Connecticut face is a fall from heights. Oftentimes, workers have to use temporary scaffolding to move from level to level while working on a large building.
While some point might think that it is just in the nature of the job that this relatively flimsy material will from time to time give way and cause worksite falls, in fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, sees the issue differently. They have promulgated specific standards that employers and others at a construction must follow with respect to scaffolding. These standards are there to assure that no worker needlessly falls and severely injures herself.
These standards not only require that the scaffolding be constructed in a certain way and with the appropriate safety features, they also mandate that an employer put an appropriate person in charge of erecting and dismantling the scaffolding, as well as periodically checking it for any ongoing safety issues.
If an employer chooses to ignore these standards, then it will face the possibility of a fine or other penalties.
Thankfully, Connecticut’s workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that if a worker gets injured on a construction site because of a scaffolding fall, he or she will in the vast majority of cases be able to get benefits through workers’ compensation for medical bills and a good chunk of the victim’s lost wages. If it turns out the scaffolding was not up to standard, then the worker may have other options as well depending on the circumstances.