Scaffolding is a temporary structure built outside a building to assist workers in conducting construction and repair works such as painting, installation of glass panels, air conditioning systems and lighting. When improperly built, the scaffolding could collapse, thus causing loss of life and damage to property. In this excerpt, you will learn a few safety tips to observe when using scaffolding.
The scaffolding design should ensure maximum stability. Scaffolds should be erected on a level and firm ground. On-site, engage a qualified scaffold designer to help you determine the best scaffold design that fits the nature of your work. In Australia, you will require a high-risk work licence for any scaffolding work. Contractors may need public liability insurance to handle accidents resulting from the scaffolding work.
Hire a licenced scaffolder to train employees on how to use the scaffold. The training involves identification of scaffold hazards such as falls and electrocution, how to correctly hoist objects to prevent them from falling and the correct use of safety harness to prevent falls.
The scaffolding should be inspected daily to identify broken pranks, bent or dislocated beams. The inspector should fill in a work log indicating the condition of the various components of the scaffold.
Safety wear and harness
Your employees must wear personal protective clothing including boots, helmets, gloves and overalls when using the scaffold. Some contractors opt to forego fall protection systems if the scaffolding has guard rails. However, it is best that you incorporate all kinds of safety measures to keep your employees safe and prevent accidents.
Working on the platform
Below are several tips to observe when working on the scaffold.
1. Be on the lookout for workers working above or below you. If you notice improper use of the scaffold, notify the supervisor.
2. Never overload the platform as it could collapse.
3. Do not leave items such as working tools, masonry debris or empty paint containers on the platform as they could cause slips.
4. Avoid using the scaffold in rainy or snowy conditions as you could slip.
5. Always lock the scaffold's wheels when it is in use. Never attempt to move the platform with someone on top.
6. Do not work on the scaffold during heavy winds. Also, be on the lookout for overhead electrical wires.
Scaffolds should be disassembled in the presence of a qualified scaffolder.
Scaffolds should be erected and disassembled by qualified personnel. Also, train employees on proper scaffold use, inspect the platform before use and wear personal protective clothing when working.