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Safety Tips for Scaffolding Workers

by Derek Crowden on Oct 27, 2015

It can be very dangerous to work on a scaffold, particularly if the structure doesn’t comply with the set safety standards. It is vital that you know the various safety procedures that exist and that you follow these properly. This is the only way to avoid very serious accidents. Below are some of the duties and responsibilities, as well as laws, that are in place for those who work on scaffolding or are responsible for keeping it safe.

Trained Staff

All staff using scaffolding must be properly trained in terms of handling scaffolding design and operation, whether they are setting it up or working on it. The training should look at areas such as how to get on and off scaffolding safely. It should also have a comprehensive section on fall protection, which is in fact one of the most important areas.

Preparation

Before you start using the scaffolding, you have to make sure that everything is in place. Your base should be completely level, adjusted and sound. Check the different locking devices so that you know that they are secure and make sure your ground level is completely stable. Additionally, do a risk assessment so that there are no hazards in place, like obstructions, changes in the type of surface, or overhead cables and electrical wires.

Legalities

You should never work with an employer that is not properly licensed. Unfortunately, these exist and they are responsible for the bulk of scaffolding accidents. They will purchase poor materials and put it together badly. A proper employer will always survey the structure for safety. If you choose scaffolding rental, you also need to check their license.

Load Capacity

Make sure you are aware of your scaffold’s load capacity and don’t exceed this. Do not put too many workers on there and don’t overload it with materials and equipment. The risk of collapse for overloading scaffolding is very real.

Guardrails

If you work on a building that is over 10 feet high, then your scaffolding construction must have guardrails on all sides except the one facing the building. There should be a rail at the top, middle and bottom.

Inspection

Make sure routine inspections of the structure take place.

Manage Your Space

Scaffolding doesn’t leave a lot of space. Hence, all materials should be properly stored. There should be no obstructions on the platform itself and debris should be put away or removed straight away. This will prevent slips, trips and falls.

Balance

Make sure that your scaffold and the platform is always perfectly level. Your workers should also be very careful when using it. If they make sudden movements, they could lose their balance, a main cause of accidents and injuries.

Protection

Make sure anyone that is on or around the scaffolding has proper protective gear on. This includes protective footwear, head protection, fall protection and more.

By complying with these various safety standards, a scaffolding structure is a very safe place to work on.

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