Planning to use scaffolding for your work at height job? As is the case when using any elevating or aerial work platform, safety should be a top priority when using scaffolding. Taking steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved in your job will help you reduce and potentially eliminate liability that may stem from accidents and injuries that may arise on the job.
So, what should you do to ensure scaffolding safety? The safety measures that you take will depend on the specific requirements of your job. However, you can never go wrong with the following scaffolding safety tips.
Use Staff Trained on Scaffolding Safety
Staff training on scaffolding safety is a key element of any scaffolding safety management plan. Before you can get started with work, make sure that everyone who will be involved in working with scaffolding is trained on the safe use of the equipment.
Some key aspects to cover as part of scaffolding safety training include:
- How to go up and down from the scaffolding.
- How to handle materials while on the scaffolds.
- Knowing the maximum load capacities of the scaffolds.
- How to identify and deal with potential hazards, such as falling objects and electrical hazards.
The person that conducts this training must be qualified and competent for the job.
Inspect Scaffolding Equipment Before Using It
Like other types of aerial work platforms, scaffolding can wear and tear from daily use. They can even suffer deterioration while in storage. Prior to setting up scaffolding for your job, it is important to check the various components of the equipment for rust or other forms of damage. This will help to ensure that it's structural soundness and safety remains intact.
If you are renting scaffolding, ask to see the scaffolding safety register or documentation to ensure the equipment owner hasn't been skipping scheduled servicing of the equipment.
Provide Scaffolding with a Stable Base
The risk of accidental collapse or tipping over is always inherent when you are using scaffolding or other elevating work platforms. This is why scaffolding comes with base plates or locking castor wheels to provide a stable base for the work platform. Before getting started with work, make sure your scaffolding is steady and stable to prevent potential overturning on the job. Also, make sure your staff understands the load rating of your scaffold and that they don't exceed it.
With the above scaffolding safety tips, you should be able to keep your workers out of harm's way. Also, make sure you supply all workers with the appropriate personal protective equipment. Although a last resort, PPE can help to prevent falls from height in case scaffolding accidents happen. Talk to a scaffolding safety expert for more information on the safe use of scaffolds.