A lot of people complain about scaffolding, but it’s crucial for maintaining and improving buildings in New York City. Many business owners say that scaffolding is unsightly and it discourages customers, especially foot traffic.
Recently, business owners have taken it upon themselves to decorate nearby scaffolding. Early reports indicate that this trend is making the city look better and drawing more customers to areas where buildings are undergoing repairs and alterations.
What Is Scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a temporary structure that provides a stable platform for workers who are restoring, servicing, and repairing buildings. It’s usually made from wooden planks and metal poles.
Most construction work is performed above ground, especially in a vibrant city full of high-rises like New York. To keep NYC going strong, workers are constantly assembling, repairing, moving, maintaining, and dismantling scaffolding.
Scaffolding is designed to create a safe environment for people in the construction trades to perform their jobs. It also provides a space for citizens to maneuver around town while people are working above them.
Frequent Scaffolding Injuries
Scaffolds must be well-designed and regularly maintained to prevent mishaps that could harm workers and pedestrians. According to OSHA, about two-thirds of construction workers use scaffolding frequently. An estimated 4,500 scaffolding-related injuries and 50 deaths occur every year.
The main causes of scaffolding-related injuries are:
- Worker falls from scaffolding
- Being struck by objects that fall from scaffolding
- Scaffolding collapse
Protecting Workers from Scaffolding Injuries
Most construction site injuries are caused by greed and poor oversight. When the people who own construction companies cut corners to save a little extra money, workers end up paying the price.
Rushing jobs, skimping on safety, and failing to provide adequate working training all lead to tragic accidents that could be prevented. Workers should never be forced to work in scaffolding when there are unsafe weather conditions such as high winds, electrical storms, heavy rain, ice, and snow.
In order to maintain a safe working environment on scaffolding, the following precautions should always be taken:
- Safety training
- Proper supervision
- Regular safety inspections
- Safety officers for all job sites
- Power tools kept away from edges
- Debris and other tipping hazards removed promptly
- Maintaining a safe distance between scaffolds and insulated powerlines
- Adequate fall protection, including guardrails and personal fall-arrest systems
- Proper personal protection equipment (PPE) for workers, including hardhats, rubber gloves, and anti-slip boots
Making Scaffolding More Attractive
Business owners contend that scaffolding is dark and gloomy and it covers up their storefronts. This has the effect of driving away customers. That’s why Caroline Purdy, owner of the fashion boutique Purdy Girl on Amsterdam Avenue at 82nd Street, has taken the lead in making NYC scaffolding more attractive.
Along with other local businesses, Purdy Girl has begun decorating the scaffolding around their buildings using cheerful and brightly colored items such as balloons, flowers, and umbrellas. This has made the area a lot more inviting to customers.
Over a Billion Dollars in Settlements for Our Clients
Contractors have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their scaffolding and the surrounding area. Failure to maintain safe scaffolding can lead to injuries and liability for building owners and contractors.
If you were harmed on a construction site, contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. We help make sure injured construction workers get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and pay for other expenses such as time missed from work.
Call (212) 986-7353 to schedule a FREE case evaluation today.