Every year, thousands of scaffold-related injuries and deaths are reported. Working on raised scaffolding is risky, particularly when proper safety precautions are ignored. The task of using a raised temporary structure to support people or materials while constructing or repairing buildings is called scaffolding.
Since workers are most of the time required to work on high structures, taking scaffolding safety measures is paramount to prevent accidents and injuries. Depending on its usage, there are different types of scaffolding. However, safety should be the top priority for whatever kind of scaffolding is used.
Whether the labor is working on sky-high warehouse light bulbs or replacing windows on a two-story home, the safety protocols and practices must be observed properly. In this post, we have discussed some great tips on how to stay safe on and around scaffolds.
1. Install Guardrails
A construction company’s responsibility is that any scaffolding over 10 feet high has guardrails installed, at least on the three sides facing away from the building. It is best if the side facing the building has barriers installed for fall protection. Depending on the scaffold’s design, a bar is the best way to prevent accidentally stepping off the platform’s edge.
2. Use Planks
It is best to cover the scaffold’s width with planks to minimize the risk of falling. This will not only reduce the chances of an accident but will also create a larger work area. There are some situations where this trick will not work, for example, when working midway up ladder frames. In such cases, installing another plank higher up is useful to create a kind of guardrail.
3. Load capacity
One of the most important factors while designing the scaffolding is considering the different types of material and workers’ load. Most of the time, accidents occur due to overloading the frame with more workers to save time. Thus, ensure the number of workers and equipment follows the scaffolding’s load capacity, and nothing is forced against guardrails.
4. Maintain a Three-Point Grip
Maintaining a three-point grip implies that while climbing the structure, one hand and two feet, or one foot and two hands, must contact the scaffold. Also, try to mount while keeping the body close to the frame and avoid climbing on the cross braces.
5. Build a Stable Base
Creating a stable base with either casters or base plates must not be ignored. Building a 2×10 block of wood under each leg is best to prevent sinking into soft soils or hot asphalt. Setting the scaffold on blocks is recommended because an uneven floor or a slightly cupped base plate could result in a small mating surface.
6. Make use of protection
Working on raised structures can be dangerous; therefore, it is crucial to use safety gear, such as head protection, fall prevention gear, and non-slip footwear, to maximize your safety and the safety of others around you. These are a few tips for using scaffolds to get things done off the ground safely. Apart from this, proper licensing and insurance is another important consideration. Moreover, the is vital for safe operations.