Scaffolding is commonly used in construction sites to assist workers that need to work at heights. Improper use of scaffolds could lead to accidents at the site. Read this extract for scaffold safety tips.
Choose the Right Scaffold
Conduct a site inspection to know which scaffold meets your needs. For instance, a suspended platform is ideal when working from the top floors. It can be used for small scale works such as building repairs, window cleaning and the installation of electrical or HVAC appliances. Trestle scaffolding can be used indoors by painters and electricians. Single and double scaffolds are commonly used for masonry works. These scaffolds can reach areas hundreds of feet above the ground. Cantilever scaffolds are ideal if the ground below cannot support a platform.
You will also need to examine the scaffolds height and weight limits. Typically, the equipment should be longer than the building you intend to build. Besides, it should support the weight of your employees and construction materials. The working platform should be wide enough to ensure your employees work at ease.
The scaffolding must be in excellent condition. Most hire companies will provide inspection reports detailing the current condition of the scaffold. You should also conduct regular inspections to identify any issues that might cause accidents at your site. For instance, some of the planks could be broken. Besides, some of the scaffolding poles could have dents and cracks.
Your employees must be disciplined when using scaffolds. Below are some safety tips to observe when using scaffolding.
- Workers should have protective clothing such as boots and helmets when using the scaffold. A safety harness is a must-have when working tens of feet above the ground.
- Scaffolds should not be used during heavy rains and storms.
- The scaffold should be cleaned after every shift. It helps remove dirt and tools that can expose your employees to falls.
- Do not attempt to exceed the scaffolding's weight limits. Otherwise, the platform will collapse.
- The platform should not be moved, repaired or dismantled with employees on board.
- Encourage your employees to communicate as they use the scaffold. For instance, they should inform each other as they board or move around the platform.
Hire a site supervisor to ensure your workers observe these safety tips. The supervisor will inspect the equipment and guide your employees as they install and dismantle the scaffold. Take a general liability insurance cover to avoid expensive lawsuits, and medical bills in case of an accident.