HOW TO AVOID THE COMMON SCAFFOLDING DANGERS
Everyone would agree that safety is paramount on a work site. Scaffolding is therefore used to increase safety for all workers by preventing falls and providing a safer means of working on projects above ground level. Scaffolding is only safe however if the correct type of scaffolding is used and is in good condition and will otherwise create hazards for all involved. Here are our top tips to avoid scaffold accidents on your worksite.
- Training : it is essential to ensure that your workers are trained on how to safely use scaffolding and are aware of what dangers and potentially unsafe conditions which could arise as well as how to reduce accidents.
- Stability : scaffolds must be stable and remain level at all times. They should be able to support as much as four-times the intended maximum load, fully planked, and have safety guardrails, cross bracing top rails, midrails and base plate / mud sill footings. When erected, they should be clear of overhead power lines, holes, ruts and openings. Proper ladder access should be available. Pre-fabricated structures should be erected with matching components. Mixed components will only compromise the stability and integrity of the structure. Mobile scaffolds should be accessed by an internal ladder when all castors are locked to prevent the scaffold from moving. These scaffolds should never be moved when workers are on top.
- Additional safety measures : mesh or screens should be attached underneath the scaffolding to prevent work equipment such as buckets and materials being dropped onto individuals below. Workers should use harnesses, which are securely anchored. All scaffolding should have proper edge protection including guardrails, handrails and toe boards. All individuals on the worksite should wear hard hats at all times.
- Clean up the worksite : by cleaning up all unnecessary equipment and rubbish on the worksite, particularly near scaffolds will prevent more accidents.