Scaffolding helps construction and maintenance personnel to access elevated places so that work can be done there. However, working at heights presents safety risks that you must be aware of so that you take steps to reduce those risks. This article discusses five things that you need to know about your scaffolding so that the safety of your workers is not compromised.
The Scaffold's Weight Limit
Each scaffold is designed to carry a certain maximum weight of personnel and materials. Ask for the design records of your scaffold so that you confirm what its load limit is. Once you know that limit, make sure that it is never exceeded so that you prevent the scaffold from collapsing due to an overload.
The Scaffold's Guardrails
Guardrails protect materials, equipment and workers from falling off the scaffold. However, these guardrails are often removed in order to load bulky materials, such as window frames, onto the platform, and workers neglect to put them back. Avoid making this mistake since it creates an opportunity for an accident, such as an employee falling, to occur at your worksite.
Scaffold safety is enhanced if that scaffold is well anchored onto the structure against which it is standing. Ensure that your scaffold is not anchored on a drainpipe, vent or other pipes that can be dislodged by the weight of the scaffold and its load. Anchor the scaffold using tiebacks installed in the walls of the building so that the scaffold is secured well.
Many accidents occur as employees get onto or off a scaffold. You should devote attention to ensuring that there is a safe mechanism for workers to access the scaffold. For instance, there should be ladders available so that workers do not use cross-braces to climb or get off the scaffold.
Ensure that your scaffold is properly maintained. For instance, check all metal parts, like the footings, for rust or broken welds and fix any problems immediately. This preventive maintenance will ensure that the scaffold does not fail when your employees are using it. Frequent scaffold inspections by licensed people, such as certified engineers, can help you to keep your scaffold in good working condition.
You will drastically reduce the likelihood of work-related accidents once you keep updating your knowledge of your scaffold in the five areas above. Seek for advice from scaffold professionals, such as All Domestic Scaffold & Safety Systems, and keep consulting the manufacturer's manual so that you master the best way to use and maintain your scaffold.