Millions of workers in the construction industry work on scaffolds with an estimated number of 5,000 workers being injured yearly. And while some of these accidents could not be avoided, most of them would.
Because you’ve worked with scaffolding for many years, don’t guarantee you know a lot about them. After all, those that get too comfortable with the beast, get the most shock when hurt.
To ensure safety while working with scaffolds; proper training is essential.
Identifying the Hazards
In any scaffold safety training, identification of hazards should be the first thing noted which includes;
• Fall from elevation
• Overloading or instability causing collapse of the scaffold
• Workers struck by falling tools or work materials
The Do’s and Don’ts
Skills from most scaffold erectors tend to be acquired through hands-on experience. Of course, this may not work for many workers. Scaffolds need to be erected and used correctly by trained workers or a specialty scaffold subcontractor. Some scaffolding dos and don’ts include;
Do Inspect the Equipment
Before anything else, ensure that all scaffold components are in good condition. Check for any dents or broken welds as well as all the locking devices to make sure they’re operating freely.
You want to have a peace of mind while working, right? Ensure that all the necessary checks are done, from the ground around the structure to the nuts and bolts.
Do Wear a Hard Hat
Of course, it’s not a great thought to imagine a tool or construction debris falling on you from heights, but because of the job’s nature, it’s ignorant not to believe that somewhere along the line something might fall and knock you from a higher floor.
To avoid such unfortunate incidents, ensure your head is always covered with the right hard hat that can only be removed when offsite.
Do Wear a Full Body Harness
Always have a full body harness at all times when you’re on a scaffold. A shock absorbing lifeline is designed to protect you and prevent you from any slip and fall accidents so be sure to use them.
And while you may think you’re too experienced to navigate your way across the scaffolding matrix, you may, unfortunately, miss a bar.
Don’t Overload a Scaffold
As much as you may assume that adding a few kilograms will not make a difference, often, this may play a significant role in causing unnecessary accidents. If you’re unsure, ask the supplier the load capacity of the scaffold.
Don’t Get Closer to the Overhead Lines
Nearly 30% of scaffolding deaths are due to electrocution. Consult the necessary authority before moving the structure to avoid such accidents.
Don’t tamper with a scaffold
Unless you’re a trained scaffold erector, never interfere with or remove ties, guardrails or planks. Leave all scaffold alterations to designated trained personnel.
If you follow these simple safety measures, then you need to rest easy knowing that you’re safe and protected from any potential accidents. However, as a worker, if you’re not sure with a scaffold’s structure, speak, but never go up if you know it’s not safe.