Three Scaffolding Safety Tips

With 65 percent of the construction industry working on scaffolds, safety is paramount. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, scaffolding accidents account for a significant number of construction hazards. The key to safety is working with scaffolding that has been erected by trained professionals, using protective equipment and implementing procedures to keep workers safe, otherwise serious injury can occur. Here are three tips to improve the safety of your next scaffolding assignment. 

Choosing the Appropriate Scaffold

Safety starts with selecting the appropriate scaffold for the job, or choosing a scaffold supplier who has thorough knowledge of the necessary equipment. Make sure to consult the scaffolding manufacturer's manual for an overview of equipment limitations, warnings and pertinent maintenance. If you decide to use your own scaffold, review the work orders, blue prints and other information. It's crucial for all scaffolds to meet industry and regulatory requirements. Keep in mind that scaffolds are typically rated light, medium, or heavy duty. Light duty scaffolds support a limited amount of employees and tools. Medium duty scaffolds safely hold workers tools as well as construction material weight. Heavy duty scaffolds sustain the same as medium duty, with the addition of stored material weight. 

Appropriate Training

It's crucial for workers to receive training on scaffold erection, handling, use, inspection, removal and care. In addition, training should entail fall protection installation, such as guardrails and fall arrest equipment. Additional training should be required for recognizing site conditions, as well as protecting personnel from scaffold hazards as well as options for repair and replacement. Management personnel on site must be familiar with the appropriate scaffolding procedures in order to determine the needs of the site and identify any potential issues.

Stable Base

A stable base is crucial for scaffolding. The frames for scaffolds are designed for you to use with base plates or casters. When workers decide not to use base plates, or casters, they risk weakening the structure of the frame tubes, or damaging them. It's best to place a block of wood under each leg, even when you use base plates. Many scaffolding sites are on asphalt or soil, making it an important safety measure because it prevents the scaffold from sinking into asphalt. If you're working on concrete, it's less necessary. Keep in mind that an uneven floor may cause a mating surface. If the surface is uneven, use an adjustable base jack to level the scaffold. 

To learn more, contact a company like All Star Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc.