A scaffold is a temporary platform used when performing tasks above the ground. Because scaffolds are high off the ground, they present a serious risk to workers. Common injuries caused by scaffolding accidents include broken bones, brain injury, cuts, and fractures.
Therefore, due to the risks and hazards involved in scaffolding, it is important that scaffolders are trained on what to do and what not to do while working.
I have come up with tips on the Do’s and Don’ts of scaffolding safety;
- Get properly trained before using a scaffold. This training must be done by a qualified person and includes identification of; electrocution, fall and falling objects hazards and the procedures for dealing with those hazards. Training must also include the proper use of the scaffold, how to handle materials, and the load capacities of the scaffold.
- Get retrained when additional hazards present themselves due to changes at the jobsite or if the type of scaffold, fall protection or falling objects protection changes.
- Before getting on a scaffold check to make sure that a competent person has inspected the scaffold before the work shift and that it is safe to use and in proper working order. Scaffolds can only be erected, dismantled, altered or moved under the direct supervision of a competent person by trained personnel.
- Always wear a hard hat when working on, under or around a scaffold. You should also get a good sturdy, non-skid pair of work boots and consider using tool lanyards when working on scaffolds.
- Be mindful of co-workers working above and below you at all times, as well as others working on the scaffold. If you witness improper use on or around a scaffold you should stop what you are doing and notify a supervisor.
- When personal fall arrest systems are required for the scaffold you will be working on, thoroughly inspect the equipment for damage and wear. Anchor the system to a safe point that won’t allow you to free fall more than six feet before stopping.
1. Don’t allow debris or materials to collect on scaffold
2. Don’t’ overreach outside the guardrails
3. Don’t stand on ties, guardrails, or extensions
4. Don’t overload the scaffold. Proper training includes being informed about the max intended load of the scaffold you’re working on, as well as its load-carrying capacities
5. Don’t use a scaffold if it appears to be damaged in any way
6. Don’t climb on any portion of the scaffold frame not intended for climbing
7. Don’t walk on scaffold planking covered in mud, water, snow, or ice.