5 Tips For Staying Safe on Scaffolding
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields to work in. About 30 percent of all work-related injuries come from this industry. A larger percentage of injuries in construction occur when workers fall from heights, especially on scaffolding structures. It is the responsibility of everyone at the site to observe safety when using scaffolding. Here are five key tips for staying safe.
Conduct Risk Assessment
Always conduct a thorough risk assessment before you use scaffolding. This will help you identify potential risks or hazards and put up measures to remove or reduce them. Check the base of the scaffolding to make sure it is level and well anchored to avoid instability. Ensure that all the guard rails and planks are properly installed. Look out for anything that could cause a change in elevation and consider the existing weather conditions. Watch out for obstructing materials, such as power lines and wires. You can hire someone who is trained to analyse the potential risks in construction sites. Assessing the risks is not only necessary for keeping the people at the site safe, but it is also a legal requirement in most states.
Understand the Load Capacity of the Scaffolding
Scaffolding structures are made from different materials with varying loading strengths. Ensure you fully understand the materials used in your scaffolding. You should know the maximum amount of load they can contain and also check the allowable temperatures. Compare the loading limits with the weight of materials that will be used on the site. You should also compare them with the total weight of people who will use the structure at a given time. The total weight of the materials and workers should not exceed the loading limits.
Secure the Scaffolding
A scaffolding structure is supported by the building. Sometimes the materials used to attach it to the building may weaken, reducing its stability in the process. It is important you use effective brace retention and lock systems to enhance stability. These systems should operate freely to prevent the attachments from dislodging. Do not try to replace the dislodged components with nails. Use products recommended by the suppliers.
Inspect the Platform Regularly
Scaffolding platforms require constant inspection and maintenance in order to determine whether they are still structurally sound. Check the braces during inspection to see if they are still intact and look at the planks to make sure they are still safe. Check the base of the structure to determine whether it has been affected by unfavourable weather conditions. There are a lot of things that should be inspected, so it is wise you hire someone knowledgeable in the construction industry to do the job.
Organize the Site
A site that is disorganized is potentially dangerous. People can trip, slip, stumble and fall, leading to serious injuries. Make sure every equipment and supply have a designated place at the site. This will lower the risk of people on the ground getting hurt due to falling tools and construction materials. You should also make sure that your workers are well trained to observe all safety measures when working on a scaffolding.