4 Steps to Scaffolding Safety

Did you know that 65% of all construction works are performed on scaffolds? This means that all of them are exposed to additional risks, and to mitigate those, specialized scaffold user training is required.

What is scaffolding?

Scaffolds in construction are temporary platforms made of metal and wood, which are used to elevate the laborers and materials to certain heights.

There are different types of scaffolds, such as:

  • Independent scaffolds,
  • Needle scaffolds,
  • Single scaffolds,
  • Double scaffolds.

Some divide them into suspended, supporting, and aerial scaffolds.

4 Steps to Scaffolding Safety

Key elements to consider

Hazards of scaffolding

Falls are the most common hazard during construction works performed at altitudes. They can occur due to improper installation or the lack of guardrails, as well as due to the misuse of the fall arrest equipment.

Scaffold collapse is another unfortunate event that can happen on the construction site. The reason for this is the negligence of assembling, moving, or dismantling instructions.

Electrocution becomes a risk when the scaffolds intersect with the electrical wires, which the workers have contact while performing tasks.

How to control the scaffolding hazards

To make sure that the working environment is safe, you need to check several boxes:

  • Is the location where the scaffold is assembled stable (no mud or slippery stones?
  • Was the manufacturer’s instruction followed during the scaffold assembling and dismantling?
  • Are the guardrails in place?
  • Did the workers receive the relevant scaffold training nyc?

Only if the answer to all of these questions is yes, the worksite can be considered safe.

Inspection of scaffolds

The main rule for the scaffold inspection is that it must be performed by an experienced person with sufficient knowledge of this matter.

The checks need to be repeated before the construction works start, and then every 7 days, or right after any alteration is done. All inspection results need to be documented in a report.

Regulations for scaffolding

Depending on the state’s regulations, there can be different requirements for scaffold width, capacity, elements, and assembling/dismantling methods.

The most common ones are:

  • All scaffold elements must bear 4 times the intended load.
  • All employees working on the scaffolds have to complete proper safety training.
  • The scaffolds have to be inspected before usage and during the process on a regular basis.

Assembling and dismantling have to be performed according to the instructions.

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