Scaffolding is ubiquitous all across the South Bronx as developers continue to move in and build up the area. However, just because scaffolding is everywhere does not mean it is any less dangerous.
In fact, the competition among contractors and the proliferation of projects could mean that scaffolds are less safe. Tighter schedules, more demand on experienced crews: It all goes toward reducing the quality and frequency of OSHA mandated inspections. Construction workers should know what makes a good inspection — and what to do if site managers or developers do not follow these practices.
The most essential part of a good inspection is the person performing it. That is why the people doing these tasks have to fill two criteria. First: They have to be able to identify problems if they see them. Second: They have to be able to take immediate action. Usually, this job falls to a foreman or a veteran scaffolding worker.
Even if the inspector knows how to spot an error, there still needs to be a systematic approach. During each inspection, someone competent will need to look at all of the rigging, ties and midrails, as well as inspect for wear and tear on the base tube and coupler, pole, outrigger or frame systems.
Inspections should happen before every shift. However, they must also take place after anything occurs to threaten the integrity of the scaffolding. Since heavy rain or wind could conceivably cause damage to these systems, it is relatively safe to say that inspections are not happening as often as they should on some sites.
Anyone who suspects that incompetent people or lax inspection schedules are threatening the safety of a construction site should consider the possibility that there could be an accident. In the event of an injury due to negligent practices of this kind, there may also be an opportunity to recover full damages.