What is Scaffolding? Safety Tips to Consider While Using a Scaffolding
Scaffolding safety tips are a very important factor while you are using this platform for buildings at heights.
Safety is an essential aspect while working at heights as it is risky and dangerous and can cause accidents as well. Safety should be the most concerning factor while working at heights. According to a study, the construction industry faces nearly 4500 scaffolding related accidents every year. This results in loss of workdays, delayed project fines, insurance premiums, etc.
What is Scaffolding?
This is a very important tool used in building construction and maintenance, especially for working at heights.
A scaffold is a transitory framework or platform used to support the construction, repair, or maintenance work of heightened buildings. It is used to provide support to the workers and also for transportation of tools and materials, etc. This is a very functional tool if it is used properly. However, improper use or using without precautions can result in hazards and accidents.
They are mostly made of steel, aluminium, or other strong material to provide support and bear weight. They consist of different parts that are connected together to form a strong and safe working platform.
Safety Tips for Scaffolding
It is a set of safety practices and procedures used to prevent accidents and hazards while using a working platform or scaffolding. The accident could happen at any time and due to several reasons. Therefore, safety tips should always be implemented in order to prevent unforeseen circumstances.
Some of the most important and helpful safety tips are described below.
1. Use PPE
In every field, professionals are provided protective gear while working in order to keep them safe from hazards. This protective gear is known as PPE, the Short form for personal protective equipment.
In the field of construction, the concept of PPE is also the same as in other fields. Workers should be given proper equipment to protect them from accidents.
PPE for construction includes gloves, chin straps, safety harnesses, etc.
2. Do Scaffold Inspection Regularly
This is a structure that needs proper inspection. Workers use it as a platform; therefore, it is important that all the connections are fixed and tight. All components used in the making are up to the quality standards.
Moreover, a thorough inspection should be done once a week to check for any damage, loose connections, or other issues. This is an important safety tip and this could help prevent accidental hazards.
3. Follow Instructions while Assembling
We know that a scaffold is available in parts that have to be connected together to make the whole structure. Now this is an important process and only a technical person with expertise in the field should supervise the process of erecting the scaffolding.
All parts need to be connected properly to make a flawless working platform and to prevent the risk of collapse or falling.
There is also a manufacturer’s instruction guide that has to be followed during the process to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
4. Follow the Weight Limits
Every working platform is built to bear a certain weight. If it is loaded with more weight than the limit, there is a chance that the platform would collapse. Therefore, this safety tip should be kept in mind while working on scaffolding that never exceeds the weight limits because this can result in serious and dangerous hazards.
Every manufacturer mentions the weight limits, always remember to not exceed that limit in order to stay safe while working.
5. Get a License from the Authorities
When you are working on scaffolding in a public area, then you should first get a proper license from authorities in that area. The license will be a permit that you are allowed to work in this particular area.
If you have hired a contractor for all the work, then make sure that the contracting company is certified and has proper licences to work in the area. This tip helps to prevent any legal actions or issues.
6. Keep Things Organized
This is a temporary working platform; therefore, it is important that you should try to keep things in an organizable manner in order to prevent hazards in the working space. If things are scattered at the place near the scaffolding or on the scaffolding, people can trip while working and this can result in dangerous accidents. This can also lead to casualties as in most cases they are working at heights.
7. Keep the Weather in Mind
Areas with windy climates, hurricanes, and heavy rainfalls are not suitable for this type of working platform. Before planning to do this, you should always be aware of the weather or climate of that specific area.
No doubt, scaffolding is made with strong material to withstand the weight, but it may not be strong enough to bear extreme weather conditions. Therefore, as a safety tip, it is important to keep the climate conditions of the area in mind before installing the structure.
8. Dismantling Guidelines
It is very important to follow the dismantling guidelines from the manufacturer to prevent accidents and hazards. In most cases, it is recommended that the dismantling should start from the top and go towards the bottom to avoid mishaps.
Moreover, an expert should be present at the site to supervise the dismantling process in order to check and maintain the safety guidelines and procedures.
9. Trained Workers
Not every worker is capable of working on scaffolding or at heights. Therefore, it is suggested that you should hire workers with proper training to work at such platforms.
They should be guided about the safety hazards while working at heights, for example, falling hazards, the need for proper safety gear, the use of tools, etc.
10. Assess Loose Screws and Clamps
There should be a regular assessment procedure to check for any loose screws or clamps. This could result in very severe damage and disasters. Therefore, always check for any loosening components to avoid dangers.
Scaffolding makes the work easier as it is time-saving and helps in reducing effort as well. However, while working on this temporary platform, proper safety guidelines and tips should be followed to prevent strict consequences.