OSHA’s Alliance Program aims to reduce scaffolding accidents

You’ve heard it before: employers have a responsibility to keep the workplace safe for workers. But what does that mean? Who monitors the employers? What guidelines are in place to ensure that employers are kept up-to-date on industry standards?

In order to help reduce the number of workplace accidents and injuries, OSHA established its Alliance Program. A number of organizations are a part of the Alliance Program including unions, trade organizations and consulates, to name a few. One example of this program’s work is recent press release that reminds employers who use scaffolding and other types of access equipment about workplace hazards and worker safety.

For many workers, ladders and scaffolding are a daily part of the job. From reaching supplies on high shelves to doing construction work on a high rise, workers are reliant on their scaffolding equipment to help them get the job done and keep them safe. But scaffolding accidents do occur and workers can suffer serious injuries, such as a back injury or broken bones, as a result.

OSHA and the Scaffold and Access Industry Association provided some reminders for employers who use this type of equipment, primarily on the topic of worker training. Often scaffolding equipment is complicated to piece together and if workers are not properly trained on how to set up and use this type of equipment, the risk of injury can increase.

Understanding what safety hazards exist, how to prevent accidents and what rights are available to workers can help keep an otherwise dangerous work environment safer for both employers and employees. Workers should know that there are organizations that exist to regulate workplace safety and that, in the event of an accident or injury, there are also resources such as workers’ compensation attorneys who can help them deal with the aftermath.

Source: OSHA Trade News Release, “OSHA renews alliance with Scaffold and Access Industry Association to protect workers from scaffold hazards,” Dec. 18, 2013.

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