As any construction industry professional knows, scaffolding has a wide range of utility on all different kinds of job sites and is an integral tool in the completion of many projects. Pretty much any job that takes place above arm’s reach requires a form of secure platforming to ensure that workers can do their thing without risk of falling and potentially suffering a fatal injury. Indeed, one of the biggest killers on construction sites is when a worker loses their balance or when a heavy object is knocked from high up and plummets downward, injuring or even killing an unaware person below.
Naturally, there is a huge amount of safety protocol around how scaffolding is to be used on contemporary jobsites. There are dozens of checks and balances that need to take place on a near-daily-basis to ensure that the platform is safe for workers to ascend and work with.
The following will examine some essential safety information for using scaffolding on your jobsite.
1. Hire a qualified supervisor
In order to ensure you do your due diligence with regards to the safety of your workers and the surrounding community, you need to hire a fully-qualified scaffolding safety inspector/supervisor. This person’s sole responsibility is to come onto the site and inspect the platforming in order to identify if there are any faults or inconsistencies that may cause a hazard.
It is their job to make sure that the scaffolding is secured properly before workers climb onto and begin using it. They also need to ensure that it can support the weight that is being put onto it.
2. Ensure that workers are educated
Of course, the safety of everyone when using a set of scaffolding is also dependent on the personal responsibility of the people who are going to be using it. It is essential that your work team is familiar with safety protocols and are briefed as a group on what the rules are for using the platforming. This should include clear reminders and instructions about weight limits and the securing/fastening of tools and other equipment.
3. Keep everything neat and tidy
Another common hazard around the use of scaffolding is when there is a large amount of debris or clutter in, around or on the platforming system you are using. It should be obvious why having pieces of debris and loose materials on a piece of scaffolding is a bad idea and can cause fatal accident should a worker lose their footing, or a heavy piece of debris is knocked down below.
You workers should be closely supervised and reprimanded if they break the rules with regards to scaffolding safety. You can’t take the risk – it only takes one irresponsible person or one avoidable mistake to cause millions in damage and potentially injure or kill someone.
If you want to see just how devastating accidents can be, simply do a Google search and make sure you’re ready to see just how bad it can get. There are lots of videos online showing the moment went a huge scaffolding system buckled and collapsed in spectacular fashion.
As you can see, there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to the safe operation of construction scaffolding no matter where you are implementing it. Keep these tips in mind and your team should remain safe.