We have heard horror stories of accidents caused by scaffolding setups. These construction projects or existing buildings lack effective safety measures. There is no doubt on the risk of serious injury in scaffolding-related incidents. With adequate safety measures, avoiding such incidents is possible.
Movable, flexible, and customizable construction tools are used. This may either prevent or trigger unsafe conditions on the job site. Prevention techniques are dependent on how well the tools work and how workers use them. Here are some of the most effective methods for adhering to proper safety procedures on the job. These are further effective in reducing the chance of scaffolding injury.
1. Make the required preparations
Ensure your scaffolding site is in a good spot, free of drops, and cliffs. Also, rough terrain and overhead wires can be of concern. Hurrying to a job often leads to various important and basic safety measures mishandled. They may be further overlooked even by the supervisor and can have hurtful results.
Be sure that your scaffolding foundation is anchored well, leveled, and adjusted. The legs should all be perpendicular and thus plumb. Check that all braces are securely fastened and that all locking mechanisms are in place. Check to ensure that cross members are level. Also check if the deck, planks, and guardrails are all mounted well. These should be in compliance with best safety practices.
2. Training of the Staff
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration” (OSHA) updated scaffolding safety requirements in 1996. The research was done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It revealed that 25% of scaffolding accident victims did not receive safety training. To reduce the risk for your crew, OSHA and equipment-specific safety training is vital.
OSHA training is intended to keep workers safe from everyday hazards. These include falls, falling objects, structural instability, and overloading. Aside from OSHA requirements, make sure to log all of the above measures. Then share them with your crew before the operation starts.
Another element of training is easily overlooked. It is that all staff using the structure should have an understanding of its load-bearing. One of the most common scaffolding accidents is collapsed due to overloading. This involves the weight of the materials supported and the weight of the staff on the scaffold.
3. Scaffolding Installation
Even if the scaffolding is correctly set up and balanced, it must be secured to the building. At the very least, braced to prevent movement. When scaffolding begins to move, it is possible to dislodge one end. This sacrifices the framework’s integrity.
Most scaffolding systems use various locking systems or brace retaining mechanisms. This is to avoid this dislodging. These fail-safe methods should permanently be appropriately mounted.
4. Maintenance and inspection should be performed.
This is important in keeping your scaffolding setup secure during any project. All equipment and materials used for everyday work should be removed from the scaffold and stored until they are required. Scaffolding should be kept as clear of obstructions as possible. Especially during working hours, with any unwanted debris or other removed.
Organizations like Alt scaffolding (altascaffolding.com) or Castle Scaffold perform a secondary site sweep. This is to ensure that all equipment has been removed, the site has been washed, and that no damage has occurred. Scaffolding inspections should be conducted by someone knowledgeable regularly. He should know about safety standards and scaffolding construction.
5. Personal safety devices (PPE)
Any staff who may be on or near scaffolding should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid injury. This includes headgear to protect against falling objects. High-quality gloves are to protect against cuts and abrasions. Further, non-slip footwear helps grip surfaces, mainly if they are wet.
Workers on the scaffold should know the use of safety harnesses. They should wear them at all times when working on it.
Safety harnesses should always be worn on building sites where scaffolding is well elevated. A good assessment technique of the height is whether a fall from it would result in serious injury to a worker.
Safety in any profession should be the primary concern. The above steps if implemented effectively can ensure a safe scaffolding experience for your next time.
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