Safety authorities assert that employers nationwide, including Oklahoma, can keep workers safe by investing in training and materials. Along with established safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides support and guidance, along with training materials to the construction industry. Safe scaffolding seems to be a significant concern because of the number of fatal workplace injuries linked to these structures.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, scaffold falls caused the deaths of 60 workers in 2016. That is one in five of all construction industry deaths in that year. It was also reported that scaffold-related safety violations have ranked among the top three of most cited violations during the past decade, and even though the latest records show it dropped from first to third, it remains a matter of significant concern.
According to an area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, most scaffolding violations are apparent enough to notice in passing. He says it is crucial to have a competent person on each construction site to ensure the scaffold is constructed with the correct components on base plates to ensure stability. This person must not only be able to identify hazards but have the authority to take the necessary action to correct mistakes and provide safety training to ensure compliance with safety standards.
Victims of scaffold-related workplace injuries in Oklahoma might be eligible for workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Surviving family members who have lost loved ones in such accidents can pursue death benefits claims, which could be a daunting prospect at such a difficult time. However, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide the necessary guidance and support with the process to obtain compensation to cover end-of-life expenses and provide a wage-replacement package.