Staying safe when working with Scaffolding

Whether you’re working on a home improvement project or managing a professional construction site, fall prevention is paramount. Failure to take the necessary precautions could lead to serious injuries or possibly even death. According to statistics from osha.org almost 20% of work related deaths occur on construction sites, and the leading cause is falls (followed by “stuck by a large object” and “electrocution”. If you’re planning on undertaking any scaffolding projects, follow these 5 tips to maximize safety for you and your co-workers.

stay safe scaffolding

Don’t sacrifice safety for speed

This is especially important if you are working alongside other, more experienced people. Of course you’ll want to do the job quickly and keep up with their pace; however, moving faster than your capabilities could lead to sloppiness. Most construction workers are professionals and will understand the importance of safety in the workplace. Concentrate more on doing a good job and you should be fine.

If you are managing the scaffolding project, think about organization, communication, training and time management to create a more efficient working environment. This way you won’t need to sacrifice speed at all.

Keep everything organized

When you work with scaffolding there are plenty of trip and fall hazards – poles and tools, etc. Keep the workplace organized by putting tools back in boxes. If you leave them out the risk of tripping isn’t the only hazard. Natural elements such as wind and rain could cause them to fall from the scaffolding and land on somebody. If you’re managing multiple workers, remind everyone of the workplace etiquette and make regular rounds of the site to ensure everybody is following the rules.

Identify potential hazards

Hazard identification should begin from the second you walk onto the site. Before anyone else arrives, check the area to ensure there is nothing dangerous lying around. Are you working near power lines? Is the ground secure? Are there any obstructions? Devise a game plan before the scaffolding begins and make sure everybody is informed of the potential hazards.

Provide the proper training

Scaffolding is a profession and like any other job in construction it requires training. Everybody involved should know the OSHA requirements and how to operate the equipment. People without this knowledge have no business working on the site. Even if you are using trained workers, check their credentials beforehand to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest legislations.

Regularly review the site

Even if you’ve identified potential hazards before the scaffolding begins, it doesn’t mean you should consider them solved. When construction begins new hazards will arise. Keep an eye out to prevent them from occurring. One of the main problems many construction workers have is that they will often neglect safety when they get more comfortable on the job.

Scaffolding is a dangerous job that should only be conducted by people with professional training. In addition, you should only ever order materials from an established provider. M Laurier & Sons LTD are currently one of the UK’s market leaders and will take everything from quality control to environmental considerations into account. However, smaller, less known companies will often neglect these crucial aspects of the business, which can significantly compromise safety.

Erin Emanuel

One Comment

  1. Identifying any potential safety hazards seems really important before using scaffolding. There’s the potential that something could cause the ground to create an insecure base, or there are overhead obstructions, so identifying these things is an important point that will help keep employees safe on work sites. I thought that you made a good point about informing all of the workers about potential hazards and what the game plan is before starting work. That seems like a good way to make sure that everyone is on the same page to create a safer work environment.

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