Working with scaffolds is synonymous with risk. It increases safety risks at the construction sites. However, by adopting some important safety measures, it is easy to avoid the hazards while working with a scaffold. Scaffolds can cause serious damage if not handled with care, such as fatal falls, electric shocks or wind hazards.
In this article, we have noted down ways to help prevent calamities at construction sites while working with scaffolds. If you keep in mind portable scaffolding practices the next time you are working with a scaffold, you can enjoy handling them without any worry.
Don’t Be In a Rush
Haste is waste. Especially when working on a scaffold, rushing can be very dangerous. Forget safety, you will be getting yourself into some big troubles by rushing. Almost half of the scaffold accidents are a result of this. Hence, when on a scaffold, keep a certain – preferably slow –pace and avoid going in a speed that is beyond your ability. Working at a certain pace will not only be peaceful and safe for you but for others on the platform too. Therefore, hurrying is the key thing to avoid ensuring safety on scaffolds.
Another very common reason behind most scaffold accidents is the unorganized workspace. When things are organized, you know where to step and where to not. However, with an unorganized scaffold platform, accidents are inevitable because of less to no space. The best way to stay safe against trips and falls on a scaffold is to keep your worksite as organized as possible. This includes all the tools, and other things used during construction to be kept at a proper place. Managed workspace and items will not only help you with your work but will also cut the chances of them falling from up the scaffolds and make the space safe for workers.
Look For all Possible Hazards
Working on a scaffold means you should anticipate and be prepared for any kind of potential danger. Being pre-prepared can help you avoid many of those. But to do so, you need to carefully inspect the site and the scaffold for any potential hazard. It should be the first thing done upon the arrival of the workforce at the construction site; especially here the scaffold is placed. View the area carefully and give everything that lays around the site an inspective look. Remove anything that you think can be a possible obstruction and aware of the workers that are to work on or near the scaffolding.
Don’t Stop Looking for Hazard throughout the Day
As said before, the hazard can make its way like free water when working on a scaffold. It is great if you have given the area a complete and proper inspection for any potential hazard, however that is not enough. You need to check the area again in intervals to make sure no calamity happens, neither to the workers working on the scaffold nor to the ones working under it. To ensure safety, frequent quick reviewing is essential. You can likely find a new hazard at the place that was checked clear by you in the previous inspection round. This will also affect productivity, as the workers will feel more comfortable working on the scaffold with their undivided attention inclined towards the work. Also, when workers are more comfortable, they follow the safety regulations more keenly, such as not leaving the toolson the floor or noticing problems with the scaffolding, etc.
Understand the Limits of Scaffolding
The scaffolding is no superhero. Sure, it has the potential to make the work at the construction site a whole lot easier, but it still has limitations. Scaffolding comes in various kinds, and each one of them serves a different purpose at the construction site. What determines the strength of a scaffold is the material it is made of, which is relevant to the kind work it is made for. Before you start with scaffolding, make sure you understand its load capacity. Also, keep in mind the allowable temperatures for your scaffolding. This can go a long way in ensuring the safety of the workers and the scaffolding.
Anyone using scaffolding should be trained first. When you don’t know what you are working with, it impossible to get through, let alone escape potential dangers. Workers should be provided with adequate training about how to use scaffolding, and proper ways to handle bad situations and remaining safe. Construction projects usually pick out workers without getting to know whether they know how to handle and work with all the items, which leads to accidents and/or loss. Even if a person claims to have enough training, they should never be let on a scaffold before testing them first.
Make Sure the Scaffolding is Secure
Making certain the scaffolding is secure is an important safety measure. Scaffoldings commonly use the support of walls or buildings to stand. However, these materials are prone to weakening and can cause the scaffolding to fall. Thus, ensuring that the scaffolding and whatever support it is using is strong enough. To keep the scaffold stable, it is important to use good brace retention and a proper lock system. With these, when the scaffolding works independently, the chances if instability is cut short as dislodging is almost impossible with such proper attachment. Even if dislodging does occur, the components should be quickly replaced with products suggested by the supplier, and make sure you never nail them back into place.
A three-point grip is important for any person who is to climb the scaffold. Three-point grip means the person who is to climb the scaffolding should have at least two feet and a hand in contact with the scaffold the entire time they are making their way up to the scaffold. Maintaining the tree point grip could be a bit tricky for the beginners, however, once you get used to it, working with the scaffolding becomes a child’s play – well, almost. Another thing to remember is to keep the body frame straight and as close to the frame as possible. Avoid using the cross-bridge to climb as they are not meant for this purpose.
Never Combine Styles
The rule to safety is to never combine different scaffolding styles, for this will create a dangerous situation where the scaffolding can be quite harmful. Issues due to this include instability, and the unpredictability of the scaffolding’s reaction under working conditions. Most people do the mistake is when they get the scaffoldings of the same color, assuming they are the same style. It is not true and could jeopardize safety. The pieces may look like they fit together but the results could bring you harm.
Scaffoldings are unstable and come with potential hazards; however, they can be minimized, even eliminated with these safety practices. As safety is better than a precaution, so it is best to be safe beforehand as the safety of health always comes first. We hope that the above-mentioned tips might be helpful for you in the future for yours and your workers’ safety.