How safe is scaffolding?

men on scaffold

Scaffolding is the preferred solution to many access issues on construction sites across the country.

This provides a safe means of access for workers who perform their duties at heights.

Scaffolding is recommended above numerous other means of access, particularly if the work involves multiple tools, workers, materials, or equipment, or the job itself will be prolonged.

It is estimated that about 2 in 3 construction workers do at least some of their work on scaffolding.

While not many people consider scaffolds as dangerous, about 4,500 workers are injured annually in scaffold-related injuries with as many as 50 actually losing their lives.

The question is, how safe are scaffolds?

As with numerous other aspects of safety, knowing about the hazards and following the right procedures for minimising risks can help eliminate much of the potential for injuries and problems.

Following is how you can ensure safety when it comes to using scaffolding.

1. Start with Proper Training

Using scaffolds safely requires erecting, moving, dismantling, and maintaining them properly and ensuring that workers performing tasks on them to fully understand the right safety procedures.

Mandatory training is the best way to address both needs. The former is also referred to as Competent Person training.

A competent person is responsible for coordinating and overseeing scaffolding.

2. Follow the Instructions

Scaffold-related incidents are almost always avoidable if workers follow the instructions accordingly.

It is quite easy for workers to become so familiar with the scaffolding they work on that they make the mistake of assuming that all scaffolding systems will be exactly the same, which is often not the case.

3. Consider the Hazards

Hazards associated with scaffolding use may vary depending on the operating environment as well as the nature of tasks being performed.

Falls are generally the greatest hazard a worker on a scaffold faces, which is why it is recommended to fit handrails or some other type of fall-protection mechanism on scaffolding structures.

4. Respect the Complexity of Scaffolds

Scaffolds might appear to be somewhat simple structures, particularly for workers that have been working on them for a long time.

However, they involve complex engineering as well as the interaction of various resources.

Respecting the complexity of scaffolds and making sure the workers that work on them are properly supervised can have a dramatic impact on the reduction of the number of injuries and damage to equipment scaffolding accidents cause…
Continue reading the article and learn more about scaffolding on Mike Gregory’s blog.

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