When scaffolds are not upright or used properly, falls can occur. Protecting workers from scaffold related accidents would prevent many deaths and more than 4,000 injuries each year.
An example: Willie, a construction worker, fell 20 feet from an unsecured scaffold. He had been helping to install metal frames on the outer wall of a residential building when the accident happened. The leaning scaffold was not tied off and had been moving away from the building while Willie was working. He fell to the ground, hitting his head on the second story, and died.
Preventing falls from scaffolding
• Provide an access ladder
• Use only scaffold grade lumber
• Install guardrails and toeboards on all scaffolding 10 or more feet above the ground
•Make sure the scaffold is able to support four times the maximum intended load (including the weight of the scaffold)
• Make sure the scaffold is level by using screw jacks on base plates and mudsills
• Keep scaffold with 14 inches of the building
Source: The Center for Construction Research and Training