There a lot of horror stories out there which have been told about people getting injured at a site due to scaffolding. Scaffolding itself isn’t dangerous, the issues arise when one does not follow the strict health and safety rules of scaffolding, this then puts themselves and colleagues at risk because they couldn’t be bothered or did not know the rules. Those who take precautions before, during and after the use of scaffolding don’t become part of this horrific statistic. There are some basic things that everyone intending to use scaffolding should always remember and know. Without taking these things into account, the chances of one misusing or getting injured by scaffolding are very high. Here are the 7 most important things you should remember when hiring and using scaffolding:
1. Prepare the Site Adequately
Before doing anything at all, it’s important that you prepare the area properly to allow for safe use of the scaffolding. Make sure that the site doesn’t have any uneven grounds, dips or slopes. It should also be free of any other obstructions like overhead wires. Don’t yield to the pressure of rushing into the job to complete it. Ensure the base of the scaffolding is sufficiently anchored, ensure all legs are straight and let it be well-levelled and properly adjusted.
2. Ensure Everyone is Adequately Trained
Everyone who’ll be using the scaffolding has to have the vital training on how the scaffolding is designed and how its structures are to be controlled. Safety when getting on and off the scaffolding is vital training for the workers as well. They should also know how to assemble and disassemble the scaffolding and know how they can avoid hazards of falling. The knowledge of the load-bearing capacity of the equipment is one that every worker must know.
3. Ensure the Scaffolding is Properly Secured
After the scaffolding is well-balanced and properly secured, you still need to make sure that it’s properly braced to avoid movement or well-secured to the building. Often, scaffoldings are made with fail-safe mechanisms such as brace retention and locking systems to prevent any kind of dislodging. All these should be implemented when putting up scaffolding. Any form of movement of the scaffold should be prevented by all means.
4. Never Forget the Guardrails
In case your scaffolding setup is higher than 10 feet above the surface, it’s very vital that you have guardrails placed on the three sides that face away from the building. They’re a great way to support the setup whenever the scaffolding is used. This way, they prevent any falls that result from loss of balance. For the maximum amount of support and stability, there should be three guardrails. There should be the bottom rail, the mid-rail and the top rail.
5. Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Regular maintenance and inspection is a very important way to ensure that the scaffolding stays safe for the period of the project. All materials and tools used on daily basis should be removed from it and stored until the next time they are needed. The inspection and maintenance of the scaffold should be carried out by a person who has knowledge regarding the safety requirements of scaffolding.
6. Never Use a Mixture of Components from Different Manufacturers
A lot of people have been using components from scaffolds from different manufacturers to construct one that they need to use. This is a safety issue and if done, incompatibility of the components can result in a rather unstable scaffold that can cause accidents of all manners.
7. Never Use Scaffolding When There’s a Strong Wind or Storm
Storms and strong winds can be disastrous when they find you working with scaffolding. It’s recommended that you let the storm or wind pass before you resume work.
To find out more about the safe use of scaffolding and our scaffold hire services please feel free to get in touch.