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Working on height might just be one of the riskiest jobs in the world. Without proper safety precaution and equipment, this could prove dangerously fatal. Everybody has heard of accidents associated with falling from scaffoldings. A Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to give support to the original structure. Those using it are at risk of falling or injuries resulting in disabilities or deaths. While there is no denying the possibility of severe dangers present while on scaffolding. Appropriate safety measures need considerations to make sure it remains safe for the workers.
With the proper safety measures, working on scaffolding becomes as safe as working on the ground. It is important for the scaffolding to be strong and stable so the construction ends successfully.
Here we will list some of the major safety tips while using scaffolding to keep yourself or workers safe:
Without doing anything else, make sure that the scaffolding ground is not uneven and free of overhead wires or hurdles. Avoid rushing the job because this is where the safety measures often remain ignored. Ignoring major early preparations can lead to disastrous results afterwards. Take your time in preparing the ground, leveling it up and getting rid of any obstacles.
Make sure the base has proper anchoring with braces placed and securing all the locking mechanisms. Verify that all the guardrails, planks and decks have proper placement according to the safety measures needed. Do all the necessary preparations beforehand to avoid any sort of accident or mishap to workers later on.
Ensure Adequate Training
Proper training and knowledge of scaffolding operations for the workers while deployed for the structure is essential. Everyone involved needs training regarding safe elevation, avoiding any hazards present. In addition to hazards, knowledge of assembling and disassembling of scaffolding is also required. Another aspect of training is to let the workers know the weight-bearing capacity of the structure.
The most common accident happens due to overloading the structure and collapsing it. This does not just refer to the material weight but also the weight of the workers on the scaffold. Make sure to train yourself and your workers with adequate learning so they avoid mishaps and safely carry the operations.
Securing the Scaffolding
Even if the scaffolding is properly set, up and well balanced. The structure needs a proper setting with the walls or at least braced to prevent movement. When the scaffolding moves, there is a chance of dislodging an end. This ultimately compromises the integrity of the whole structure and framework.
Securing scaffoldings require the use of several locking systems and mechanisms to make sure it stays intact. These locking mechanisms act as a fail-safe method to prevent any dislodging or needs careful installation. Securing the scaffolding needs focus and time to ensure observation of safety protocols.
If making use of a scaffolding structure that stands above 10 feet high. Make sure to install the guardrails at three sides of the structure away from the building. These guardrails prevent any accidents from falling and provide support during daily use. The safest arrangement calls for setting three guardrails around the scaffolding. This includes top, middle and bottom rails to provide maximum stability and support for the workers.
Make sure to use quality guardrails to avoid breakage of any kind due to support. Installing guardrails provides maximum safety and security to both the structure and workers.
Maintenance and Inspections
Maintenance serves as an important part of keeping the scaffolding up during a project. As a simple rule for housekeeping and safety. Make sure to remove all the tools from the scene until needed. Remove the debris from the scene during work hours and make sure to keep it obstruction-free. Regular inspections by experts of scaffolding designs ensure the structure has a top working condition.
They make sure the lumber used for structure has top quality and not damaged or cracked in any way. Braces and frames need examination for potential rust of signs of excessive wear off. Regular checkups make sure the material remains in top safety standards. Check for any signs of weakness in material like beams, plates, welds or connecting pins while using suspended platforms.
The frequent check ensures the avoidance of any low-quality material. Anything out of ordinary need reporting at the moment’s notice to replace it on the spot. Until the inspection expert confirms the safety, it should remain unused until further notice. Regular checkups and maintenance ensure the structure remains in proper working conditions during the project. Ensuring safety protocols become essential once the scaffolding stands ready.
Using Protective Equipment
Any worker working on or around the scaffolding needs to wear personal protective equipment to avoid injury. This equipment includes headgears, gloves, and footwear for the workers. Headgear protects them from falling debris, gloves from any cuts and footwear to avoid slipping. Aside from this major equipment, there are eye protection goggles, facemasks, and other various user equipment. According to Howard Chappell of Chappell Law Group, if the employers fail to provide the workers with appropriate safety gear and training for using them, they may have to face a lawsuit in case of an injury on the worksite.
Workers on the scaffolding need training about handling the safety harness while working. Ideally, tying a harness with the structure or any other immovable object ensures the safety protocols meet the standards.
Workers need to wear these safety harnesses while on the scaffolding and follow the guidelines. Using safety equipment ensures protection from harm and a smooth working process. Make use of quality equipment while working on scaffolding.
More Safety Tips
- Install scaffolding accessories as recommended by the manufacturer
- Place the scaffolding on an even ground
- Wear a hard hat and nonslip shoes while on the scaffolding
- Reinforce the structure with proper material and braces
- Maintain at least a 10-feet distance between the scaffolding and electric wires
- Do not alter scaffolding accessories in any way
- Avoid working on scaffolding during rain or storm
- Avoid using ladders on top of scaffolding to elevate the height
- Do not use scaffolding for storage of tools or materials
Using a scaffolding offers support for the original structure but also needs support itself. Working on a scaffolding proves dangerous if you ignore any proper safety measures in any way. Remember that the height of the scaffolding is a danger in itself so safety remains necessary. If you do not train your workers in any way, you might have to pay a higher price.
Keep your worker’s safety in check by taking proper precautions to make sure the project runs smoothly. Make sure to use every possible safety means to secure the life of your workers and the project itself. Be safe in using the scaffolding to ensure smooth operational activity.