Scaffolding During The Winter

Scaffolding During The Winter

Ensuring Safety and Comfort on the Scaffold Amidst Cold and Icy Conditions

The winter season presents its fair share of obstacles for scaffolders, as frigid temperatures, relentless gusts, and slippery scaffolding decks become unwelcome companions. Nevertheless, through the meticulous adoption of a handful of indispensable precautions, one can elevate both safety and comfort when working during these colder months. Here, we present three indispensable protocols for navigating the scaffold amidst icy and wintry weather conditions.

1. Consistent evaluation of scaffold structures

Particularly during adverse winter conditions encompassing gusty winds, snowfall, and precipitation, the diligent assessment of scaffold structures assumes utmost significance. Prioritising the steadfastness of your scaffold is imperative, while concurrently emphasising the identification of potential slipping perils arising from icy surfaces, moisture accumulation, or muddied areas. 

2. Snow and ice removal from scaffold

In preparation for the winter season, it is crucial to address the potential challenges that snow and ice can pose to scaffold work. It is imperative to clear the scaffolding of any snow or ice accumulation before it can be safely utilised, and also to mark it as inaccessible. The responsibility for this snow removal task, whether it lies with the scaffold erector or the scaffold user, is typically established in the contract. 

When assigned with the responsibility of removing snow and ice from the scaffold, it is essential to exercise utmost caution and employ appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed. It is advisable to refrain from using road salt, as it has the potential to cause damage to both the scaffold decks and the building facades. Opting for sand instead can effectively prevent any harm to the scaffold or the overall structure of the building. 

3. Temporary roofs to shield against weather conditions

During the winter season, various safety hazards arise, including the presence of snow, ice, and strong winds that can potentially lead to accidents and falls. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to employ suitable safety measures. Personal protective equipment and collective protective equipment, such as safety guardrails in compliance with TRBS 2121 standards offer substantial enhancements to overall safety.  

Additionally, the implementation of temporary roofs proves to be an effective solution, particularly during colder months. These roofs not only safeguard the construction site but also serve as a barrier against adverse weather conditions, minimising work interruptions.