Safety is an essential consideration when you need to use scaffolding to carry out work at your worksite. Scaffolding is essential for making areas of your worksite accessible to employees. However, scaffold use can entail some safety risks if it is not done carefully.
The following are six safety precautions that need to be taking to make scaffold use as safe as possible at your worksite.
1. Carefully Planning Scaffold Placement
You shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to properly place scaffolds around your worksite. Keep safety in mind when determining where to place scaffolds. Don’t try to save time by leaving scaffolding in the same place and having employees reach or stretch to access work materials. Take the time to relocate scaffolding when necessary to keep things safe.
Also, make sure you’re placing scaffolding in the optimum spot for accessing various parts of your worksite. Plan scaffold placement out carefully to be both efficient and safe.
2. Using Personal Protective Equipment
Your employees who are mounting scaffolding need to be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE for scaffold use should include fall arrest equipment for those who are working up high. Other required PPE should include hard hats and non-slip footgear.
3. Performing Daily Inspections Before Use
Regular scaffold inspections are important for avoiding mishaps. Simply inspecting scaffolding once when it is first assembled and put in place is not enough. Scaffolding can become damaged or warped over time. Scaffolding could also accidentally get moved slightly out of place through normal worksite operations.
The best way to ensure that scaffolding stays safe over time is to have it inspected every single day as work progresses. Create an inspection checklist. This inspection should include checking all scaffold components including frames, planks, bases, and braces. Fasteners, casters, and any other components also should be inspected to ensure that the scaffold is properly assembled and stable.
4. Being Aware of Maximum Weight Capacities
Scaffolding equipment should always have specified maximum weight capacities. Going over these weight capacities can create a dangerous safety hazard. It’s therefore important that you and others on your worksite are aware of the weight capacities of individual pieces of scaffolding equipment.
5. Always Covering the Entire Scaffold Surface With Planking
You don’t want to give in to the temptation of leaving open areas alongside scaffold planks. The entire scaffold surface should be covered with planking. Otherwise, workers could be put in danger of stepping in the wrong place and stumbling at spots where planking is missing.
During scaffold assembly, the entire scaffold bay should be covered with planking immediately. This creates a larger work area for employees. A larger work area means a reduced risk of falling. Whenever possible, cover the complete scaffold width.
6. Putting Guardrails in Place
Guardrails are an essential component of scaffolding that helps ensure safety. Make sure that you always install and use guardrails that are included in the design of the scaffolding you’re using. When you’re using guardrails, your employees may be able to safely do work on scaffolding without having to wear safety harnesses. However, you need to do your research and make sure you’re following any regulations for scaffold use. Meeting regulations help prevent accidents and avoid liabilities for companies relying on scaffolding to keep worksites safe.
You need to find the right access solutions for your project before work even begins. This means that you need to find a scaffold rental provider you can consult with for valuable input and advice on ensuring that your project goes as smoothly as possible. Put time and effort into scaffold planning to keep your worksite both safe and productive.