Common Scaffold Accidents and How to Prevent Them

Scaffolding is important for many construction, remodeling, and maintenance jobs. However, it can be very dangerous when not properly maintained. By understanding what some of the most common scaffolding accidents are, you can better work to employ preventative measures to ensure they don’t happen. Here are some common scaffold accidents and how to prevent them.


This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone who has worked on scaffolding before. Falls can happen while getting onto the scaffolding and moving around on it. The most common causes of falls from scaffold include improper safety precautions and lack of restraints or harnesses. Make sure you have the right style of scaffold for the job at hand, whether that is safeway scaffolding, vanguard style, or Waco. In addition to having the proper scaffold style, there are a couple of ways you can prevent accidents like falls from happening.

First, you should have guard rails installed on the scaffolding. This way, your employees have something to hold on to when moving around on the scaffolding. Second, you should employ a fall arrest system. This way, your employees are in a harness and will be connected to a wire to stop them in mid-air before they hit the ground. Never assume safety rules about proper behavior will be enough. There must always be extra physical measures in place to protect workers from falls.

Equipment Collapse

Scaffolding can collapse if it isn’t installed properly, not maintained regularly, or is overloaded. You should have your employees routinely check the scaffolding materials at the start of their shift to ensure there are no problems with it before utilizing it. This includes confirming that all components are in place and secure, looking for sharp edges, bends, and cracks, and making sure clamps and braces move freely. Lubricate moving parts and fasten stationary parts. The smallest bolts and nuts must all be in place, as every component is necessary to ensure safety. Make sure swing gate springs work properly, as they add a level of safety to the overall design.  Also, you should properly inform employees about weight restrictions when it comes to the scaffolding. This way, they don’t overload the equipment and make it more susceptible to collapsing.

Objects That Fall

Even if your scaffolding equipment is being used correctly by your employees, it doesn’t mean other injuries can’t happen. Think about the tasks that your employees are performing when on the scaffolding. They likely have tools and other objects they’re working with or may be moving and carrying other parts for maintenance.

These objects can harm those below the scaffolding if they fall. For this reason, it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure that no one gets injured by falling objects. Implement screens on your scaffolding to keep tools from falling off. Consider even adding a safety catch net under the scaffolding.


When workers are on the scaffolding, a lot of their attention is geared towards paying attention to where they walk. This means that sometimes they may not be paying close attention to what’s around them. Live power lines can cause electrocution. When installing scaffolding, be sure to keep it away from any live wires. If the scaffolding must be installed near wires, get them turned off or have a cover installed over them so there’s no chance of electrocution.

Scaffolding is a necessary piece of equipment for many different industries. As a business owner, plant employee, or maintenance worker, it’s important that you properly train and are trained on utilizing scaffolding safely and taking preventative measures to stop avoidable accidents from happening. The above common accidents and their preventative measures should be included in your company safety plan.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
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