It’s no secret that the construction work, of any magnitude, can be dangerous. Workers are dealing with heavy machinery, large pieces, heights, and so much more. Several precautions need to be put in place for the safety of the workers and pedestrians going past the site. Arguably, one of the most dangerous parts of a construction site is when scaffolding is needed. The higher the building is, the higher the worker goes the more dangerous it becomes. Safety is the number one priority for any job and your workers need to go home each night. Here are 11 tips to make sure each job is done correctly.
1. Proper Safety Equipment: Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, will always be required for any construction or industrial job. This includes hard hats, eyewear, gloves, and more. For example, while on the scaffold, something can get knocked off. Even if it’s small, falling from a height can do some serious damage if a hard hat isn’t worn. Workers on the scaffold should have non-slip footwear as well and fall arrest equipment to minimize the chance of injury.
2. Mind the Load Limits: Each scaffolding material and design has a specific weight limit it can hold. Going over that limit will cause the platforms to break, crack, or simply collapse. This can be extremely dangerous for workers not only on the platform, but down below when materials fall to the ground.
3. All Regulations & Standards: Each state and even each city can have their own standards and regulations to follow. To prevent accidents and avoid liability you need to stay up-to-date with each one.
4. Inspect Scaffolding Materials: Inspects can save a lot of time and accidents. Before the platforms are set up, each piece needs to be inspected for damage or defects that will interfere with the structural integrity of the scaffolding. Make sure each part is from the same manufacturer as well. If pieces are mismatched, it could weaken the structure.
5. Build Properly: Make sure you’re following the instructions on how to build the scaffolding the manufacturer provided as well as mustang the right fasteners and braces. You cannot jury-rig any of the components.
6. Do A Second Inspection: Once the scaffolding has been built you need to do a second inspection. You’re looking for any defects, hazards, debris, and other issues that might cause an accident when the workers are on the platform.
7. Keep Vehicles & Heavy Equipment Clear: The base of the scaffolding should be protected from everything on the ground. Barriers should be put around the base for extra protection. Any heavy equipment that needs to be near the scaffolding should keep as much distance as possible to avoid contact with the base.
8. Stay Organized: Equipment and tools should always be put away at the end of each day. This will keep everything organized and ready to use each day. It will also protect the tools and equipment from the elements and theft.
9. Pay Attention To The Weather: Weather is a huge factor in how the workday will go. It will be dangerous for workers to be up on the scaffolding while it’s raining or there are high winds.
10. Be Fully Licensed: Proper licenses help run a smooth construction business. If contractors do not have a license then there is no guarantee they have the proper education and training for their job. You cannot simply “take their word for it,” because they could be putting several people at risk.
11. Climb Responsibly: Whether it’s your first day or your 700th day working on scaffolding workers must follow the proper safety techniques to climb up and down. They should have at least three points of contact on the structure as their climbing. This means one hand, two feet or two hands, one foot.