Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Scaffolding Basics - Part 1


     By Jay Consulting-Oceanside, California-Litigation Support Scaffold Accident Forensic Engineers Expert Witness

PhoneCall John Schueler at (760) 724-6101


There are good reasons to carefully select the right scaffolding for your project, probably the least important of which is the cheapest bid for the supply and its erection. What follows is based upon many years of experience in the design, fabrication and erection of this equipment.
Millions of dollars every year in the United States are paid to injured scaffold users, or their dependents, most of which would have been avoided if OSHA requirements had been met.

The United States Department of Labor determines through its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) minimum standards for the safe loading of work platforms, i.e. scaffolding. In addition, safe working supervision of scaffolding assembly and worker conduct has been crafted to reduce injuries to a minimum. <

Required qualification of supervisors and their crews is spelled out in OSHA publications. OSHA offices are situated nationwide, with knowledgeable engineering staff who will answer specific questions that pertain to the State or Federal labor laws pertaining to scaffold use. State OSHA rules vary from the Federal standards on occasion, and a check with a local office will clarify any modification that applies in your State.

Failures resulting in worker injuries are often a combination of poor design, lack of adherence to the scaffold manufacturer's load limits, inadequate supervision or worker inexperience / carelessness. It is frequently the task of an expert in the field to assist in scaffold failure litigation to sort out the likely causation.

During the past few years, manufacturing has been outsourced overseas. While the majority of this scaffolding has been duplicated from domestic designs, structural test results are not always supplied to the consumer. Accordingly, it is here recommended that only products proposed for use on a project be qualified by certified test results.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Schueler
John Schueler, P.E. has consulted with law firms throughout the United States since 1984 as expert witness at all court levels. He has many years of experience in the design of scaffolding. He is employed as a consultant in a wide range of litigation involving construction injuries.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.
For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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