Safety Guide for Scaffolding18 Feb 2022 - Flaaim
What is a scaffold?
A scaffold is a temporary structure constructed mostly in construction sites to support working platforms. These structures ensure that there is a safe and stable work podium. Erecting scaffolds is part of the safety measures that construction companies must take to keep their employees safe. Scaffolds can refer to the individual components used for the work or the process of doing it. Among the safety measures to observe include ensuring the safety of employees, such as making sure each employee wears personal protective equipment. Every employee must also be aware of the work environment in which they have been deployed.
What risks are involved during scaffold work?
Depending on specific worksites, employees are exposed to numerous risks. The most common risks that employees engaging in scaffolding work must be protected from include:
i. Falling from heights
Construction workers often face the risk of falling from heights. When working at heights, there is always the risk of workers slipping, falling, and sustaining serious injuries or even losing their lives. The risk is even higher if a worker has to work on scaffolds since they will need to assemble the framing structure first before embarking on their work.
ii. Dangers of collapsing scaffolds
Scaffolds, when erected properly, should be stable to provide a safe working environment for construction workers. This, however, is not always the case. Accidents have been reported resulting from poorly constructed scaffolds, and they can be fatal. If all the bolts are not properly fitted, there is the risk of a scaffold collapsing, and this can have devastating consequences. It is vital for construction site managers to ensure all scaffolds are stable and strong to avoid accidents.
iii. Inadequate personal protection equipment
During framing work, workers need protective clothing and equipment to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, some construction sites do not have adequate personal safety equipment (PPE), such as helmets, safety nets, handrails, etc., which puts workers at risk.
iv. Bad weather
Bad weather can result in accidents at a construction site. Heavy rains, storms, and other extreme weather conditions can put workers at high risk. As a result, construction managers and supervisors should endeavor to protect their employees during a bad weather by postponing work until it is safe for them.
NOTE: Every employer has a duty of care to all of their employees, and they must take measures to enhance each employee’s safety by making the work environment safe.
Control Measures during Scaffold Work
If your employees are engaged in this kind of work, here are some of the safety measures you can take to protect them from unnecessary injuries and make the working environment safe.
- Use certified construction inputs.
When undertaking framing work, ensure that you use supplies from reputable brands and avoid substandard materials that could compromise the stability of structures.
- Ensure employees have adequate personal protective equipment
Provide your employees with all the safety clothing and equipment they will need to keep themselves safe at the workplace.
- Ensure that scaffolds are erected by competent personnel.
Do not allow untrained or incompetent people to erect the scaffold since they are likely to erect them improperly, thus leading to collapse.
- Ensure qualified inspectors inspect scaffolds before using them
Before using any erected scaffold, contract qualified inspectors to confirm their quality.