Safety when scaffolding
How to Scaffold safely
At DDC scaffolding, we hold ourselves to the highest standard of safety and security. Scaffolders work at great heights and without the proper protection can be put at risk. Employees in the construction industry are statistically more likely to sustain work related injuries. Falling from a height is the number one cause of non-fatal accidents in the construction industry. Slips, trips, and falls, being struck by a moving object and injuries from handling, lifting, or carrying objects are also common scaffolding related in injuries. As a business owner it is your responsibility to ensure you are protecting your employees and providing them with the proper PPE. Here are the best ways to keep you and your employees safe:
Before starting a construction project, a site assessment needs to be carried out. A site assessment will determine how much security is needed on the site. The amount of security needed and the options available will be affected by the location and nature of the construction work. The following can affect a site assessment:
- The proximity to residential areas, schools and public areas
- Whether the scaffold is accessible to the public
- Level of lighting
- Length of time site is closing for
A site assessment ensures that both the workers and the public are safe and secure. Depending on the results of the site assessment, certain aspects of a project plan may have to change to ensure the safety of everyone.
It is mandatory for all employees to be trained accordingly to their role. Workers that are directly on the scaffolding need to be trained on how to correctly handle the materials and tools provided. Each employee should be made aware of potential risks and dangers whilst on the job and the best way to prevent this. Staff training should be updated regularly so that your employees are protected.
Employees climbing the scaffold should be aware of the correct way to do so. For example, employees should always keep three points of contact when climbing the scaffold. Areas such as the cross braces should not be climbed on.
As an employer it is also necessary that you are aware of the regulations and standards applied to the scaffolding industry. Knowing these could help you prevent an accident if you notice employees not following the regulations and standards.
The use of PPE is necessary for scaffolders especially when working at great heights. It is an employer’s responsibility to provide workers with the appropriate PPE. In scaffolding, a hard hat, protecting clothing and heavy-duty boots are essential PPE.
Ensure everyone is licensed
Licensed scaffolders would have received the correct training and education needed to work safely on a construction site. These employees will be aware of the potential risks and know how to best protect themselves. Ensuring all your employees and contractors are licensed will reduce the risks of injuries on site.
Before starting a project, it is important that you inspect all materials being used. When sourcing materials, use the same manufacturer to ensure that the materials are designed to be used together. Inspecting materials will allow you time to identify any defects or damage before use. This eliminates the risk of workers using unsafe materials and increasing their risk of injury. Once the scaffold has been erected, it needs to be inspected again. This allows time for any materials that were damaged during transportation to be identified and removed before work starts.
When a scaffold is being erected or dismantled, a competent person should be present and supervising. A competent person is classed as someone with the correct training. Before erecting the scaffold, it is important that you have read and fully understand the manufacturer’s instructions. Everything should be built accordingly to the instructions provided by the manufacturer without any added short cuts.
Keeping the workplace organised
One of the leading causes of injury that is scaffolding related is trips and falls. By keeping organised and ensuring all tools and materials are in safe places, the risk of employees tripping over them is lowered. At the end of a shift, ensure all tools are put away and are secure.
Scaffolding materials are designed with a specific load limit. Going over this limit could cause the scaffold to crack, break or lose stability. This would increase the risks for workers. Heavy equipment and vehicles could also affect the scaffolding stability, posing a risk to workers safety.
At DDC Scaffolding, we understand that health and safety is of paramount importance, and we strive to provide our clients with the peace of mind they deserve.