August 2022 OSHA Enforcement News: CO

US Department of Labor finds contractors ignored manufacturer safety recommendations, leading to one worker's 65-foot fall from an improperly elevated scaffold

DENVER, CODuring construction of a concrete elevator and stairway core for a 44-unit residential building, workers were permitted to ride a climbing scaffold as the crane hoisted it up, counter to the manufacturer’s safety recommendation not to use their climbing scaffold atop a lifting device. While being hoisted, the scaffold system shifted and inverted, causing one worker to fall 65 feet and suffer severe leg, back and head injuries. His coworker was saved from serious injury thanks to his fall arrest gear, which left him dangling from the scaffold.

OSHA found all three contractors involved liable for contributing to these unsafe conditions. “To use equipment to hoist workers to elevations, an employer must demonstrate that conventional means of reaching the work area are impossible or more hazardous,” explained OSHA area director, Amanda Kupper. “This employer’s failure to follow that requirement caused a worker to suffer life-changing injuries, and another to be forever reminded of this tragedy.”

Though they are preventable, falls from elevation account for around a third of all construction worker fatalities every year. In reporting this news, OSHA linked to a resource covering the three simple steps to prevent falls, which we highly recommend checking out.

To read the full story from OSHA, click here.

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