Safety Regulations for Scaffolding in Massachusetts

Construction workers in Massachusetts need to know about the safety regulations for scaffolding. That way, they can report faulty structures and hold their employers accountable in case of a fall. So, what are these regulations, and how can they benefit you?

Safety regulations for scaffolding in Massachusetts are based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines. When employers fail to meet these regulations, Massachusetts construction workers are put in danger. If an employer’s negligence caused an accident that injured you, you could seek compensation. Victims can either pursue workers’ compensation benefits or file a lawsuit against a negligent employer in Massachusetts.

The Law Office of John J. Sheehan’s experienced Massachusetts scaffolding accident lawyers can inform you of your options. Our attorneys can help you recover damages and hold negligent employers accountable. For a free case evaluation, call the Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan today at (617) 925-6407.

What Is the Regulation That Covers Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is the temporary structure used by workers while constructing a building. They can be used for residential or commercial construction. Whether scaffolding is 20 feet off the ground or 100, falling from it can be very dangerous. That’s why Massachusetts has safety regulations for scaffolding.

Massachusetts offers guidance to contractors when constructing temporary scaffolding for a job, based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations. OSHA is a federal agency that regulates safety in workplaces, like construction sites. Because of this, OSHA regulations regarding scaffolding apply to construction sites in every state, including Massachusetts. That’s why Massachusetts doesn’t have specific laws regarding scaffolding.

Negligence on an employer’s behalf can result in serious injury to a construction worker. Because of this, workers can sue a negligent employer for compensation. In addition, OSHA can penalize reported businesses for failure to comply with scaffolding regulations. If you suspect your employer is not meeting OSHA’s safety requirements, you can ask an attorney, like the Law Office of John J. Sheehan’s Massachusetts construction accident lawyers. If you report your employer for failure to maintain safe scaffolding structures, they could incur significant monetary fines.

At What Height Does OSHA Require Fall Protection?

Scaffolding can reach great heights, especially when used to construct tall buildings. Because of this, OSHA has regulations for fall protection. Installing preventative measures to avoid falls can keep workers safe. Not following these regulations can result in severe injuries.

OSHA dictates that workers require fall protection when scaffolding at a construction site is more than six feet above the ground. Fall protection includes things like guardrails, nets, and harnesses.

The structure itself has to be created by trained professionals that follow Massachusetts’ and OSHA’s requirements. There is specific wood that must be used for scaffolding platforms. Scaffolding must be affixed with the appropriate ladders so workers have easy access and don’t slip. Most scaffolding structures that are raised above the ground must have guardrails to prevent workers from falling. In Massachusetts, scaffolding has to be strong enough to bear four times the expected weight of workers and equipment.

Construction companies need to adhere to safety regulations for fall protection. Otherwise, their employees may fall or injure themselves. While Massachusetts doesn’t have laws specifically about scaffolding safety, that doesn’t mean an employer can’t be liable. Suppose an employer’s neglect caused your injuries in a scaffolding accident. In that case, you might be entitled to compensative damages in Massachusetts.

Is a Harness Required on Scaffolding in Massachusetts?

Even when raised several feet above the ground, scaffolders are not always required to wear harnesses. This is an additional fall prevention method to keep workers safe. In situations where there are no other fall preventive measures in place, employers must supply scaffolders with the proper harnesses in Massachusetts. If they don’t, they are violating OSHA guidelines.

Scaffolders must wear a safety harness when more than six feet above the ground if other fall protective measures are not in place. That means that if there are no guardrails, employers must provide workers with what’s known as personal fall arrest systems. These systems have several parts, and all must be accounted for to meet OSHA’s requirements.

The first is a full-body harness. This harness must cover a scaffolder’s midsection and shoulders. Personal fall arrest systems must have an anchorage that strongly connects the harness to the scaffolding itself and can hold the weight of a scaffolder if they fall. The final piece of a personal arrest system is the connector, which is essentially the line that connects the harness to the anchorage. Without one of these parts, a personal arrest system is incomplete. Scaffolders must wear a personal arrest system when more than six feet above the ground and without other fall prevention systems in place.

When Does Scaffolding Need to Be Inspected in Massachusetts?

Scaffolding is a barebones structure that workers can use for months while completing a build. Because of this, scaffolds need to be inspected by a competent person regularly. If they’re not, they could degrade, resulting in a worker injury.

According to OSHA’s regulations, scaffolding needs to be inspected before each shift at a construction site in Massachusetts. It also has to receive an inspection after any event that might alter its integrity, like a storm or natural disaster. A competent person, or a user-trained worker, must inspect scaffolding. This means a person employed by a contracting company who is skilled at identifying issues in scaffolding.

Gear should be regularly inspected, too. If connectors or guardrails are degrading, they need to be replaced right away. Rusting metals or rotting floor planks are signs of faulty scaffolding. It’s your employer’s responsibility to enlist a competent person to regularly inspect scaffolding and point out issues. If there is a problem, work should be delayed until it is addressed. Otherwise, an employee may sustain a serious injury.

Victims deserve to be compensated for their injuries, which is why the Boston construction accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan fight for victims’ rights. An experienced attorney can stand up to a negligent employer and help you recover significant damages after a scaffolding accident in Massachusetts.

Call Our Attorneys if You Were Injured in a Scaffolding Accident in Massachusetts

Massachusetts scaffolders deserve to work in a safe environment. Call the Cambridge construction accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free case evaluation today at (617) 925-6407.

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