According to OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), around 65% of construction workers work on scaffolds which account for some common types of construction site injuries.
Not only do these accidents affect employees and their family members, they equally cost a lot of cash in lost workdays. To best avoid these accidents, here are some safety tips that will surely help.
Always Keep the Workplace in Order
Although moving around a scaffold may be tricky; things can significantly get out of hand when there are work materials and tools lying around carelessly. Keep the workspace organized to avoid any slip and fall accidents on the scaffold.
Know the Load Capacity
Scaffolds are designed and built to hold a certain weight needed for a particular job. You must neither overload it with workers nor equipment than its designed load capacity. If you’re unsure about this, talk to trained personnel.
Look for any inherent hazard
Before anything else – before the scaffold is built or workers begin their daily routine, it’s vital to check and identify any potential risks to avoid scaffolding accidents.
Check its proximity to a power line or the ground’s level to be sure everything is in order. Do this regularly throughout the job because a new hazard may arise.
Employers need to make sure every worker is properly trained for their job whether it’s the guys setting up the scaffolding or these working on it.
Training not only equips them with the right knowledge but it additionally helps them to prepare and avoid any potential dangers.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
Workers on scaffolding need to have protective hard hats, non-slip footwear and a safety harness tied to a permanent structure. This Personal Protective Equipment helps to keep workers safe and protected in the event of any accidents.
Never Remove Scaffold Components without Proper Authorization
Many accidents and deaths have occurred due to unauthorized removal of scaffold components that makes the equipment to be unstable or non-functioning.
Only Use Properly Selected Scaffolds
To prevent a collapse of scaffolds, be sure you use one that has been tested and meets the laid down standards.
These standards were set to evaluate scaffolds and their components to ensure they work properly and can comfortably be used by construction workers.
Equip Scaffold with Toeboards
Toe boards or any other equivalent device helps avoid injuries mostly caused by work materials, debris or other tools. Moreover, this is a requirement according to the ANSI/ASSE A10.8 standard.
Never Erect a Scaffold near Electrical Power Lines
Of course, you should never use a scaffold erected near a power line without consulting a qualified and knowledgeable person.
Take caution while using power tools or any temporary electrical wiring. Better yet, equip yourself with the necessary knowledge before engaging in an activity like this.
While scaffold accidents aren’t inevitable, they can easily be prevented through training, education and proper selection/use of equipment. Even as a worker on the construction site, you have a duty of making sure you’re working in a safe environment so always be on the lookout for potential hazards.