Scaffold Safety? Worker Dies After Falling

A 32-year-old man died after falling from an unguarded working surface of a scaffold.

The victim, who was a journeyman mason, and his co-worker were installing backing rod 35 feet above the ground. As the two worked, they moved backwards on the work platform. When the mason worker reached the unguarded edge, he fell to the concrete surface below. He was taken by emergency responders to a local hospital, where he died in the emergency room.

Investigators found that before the incident the scaffold had been lowered and moved, but the guardrails at the end of the working platform had not been re-installed nor had the proper planking been installed prior to re-raising the scaffold.

Unfortunately, in a typical year, about 100 workers across North America are killed in incidents involving scaffolding. And safety violations involving scaffolds are among the most commonly cited by safety inspectors. Scaffold work takes training. Do your workers know how to use a scaffold properly? Can they recognize the multiple hazards associated with them?