Scaffolding allows construction workers to access taller heights during construction. Unlike ladders, scaffolding structures provide a stable platform that increases the safety of workers while working at height. However, these structures can cause accidents and injuries when used incorrectly. Therefore, as you hire scaffolding for your construction project, here are four safety tips to adhere to.
Check used scaffolding for damage
When renting used scaffolding, it's vital to inspect the structure for damage and deficiencies that might increase fall hazards on your site. Since most platforms are assembled on the site, you can inspect each component for damage before setting it up. Below are the key things you should check before renting the equipment:
- Check the footings to make sure they are level and firm
- Inspect the legs, frame and posts for wear
- Check the scaffolding components for bends, holes, cracks and rust
- Look for incompatible replacement parts
If the scaffolding has wooden parts, check the wooden parts for signs of rot or deterioration. After renting the equipment, inspect it every day to ensure it is in excellent condition.
Adhere to the weight limit
Different scaffolding structures have varying capacities, ranging from light-duty to heavy-duty. Lighter structures are suitable for lightweight jobs, while heavy-duty ones can accommodate more people and tools. Before renting scaffolding, determine your capacity needs. How many workers will access the structure at a time? Will the workers need to use heavy tools or equipment while working at height? Choose a scaffolding with the required weight capacity. Do not overload the structure, as it can collapse and injure your workers.
Clean scaffolding during rainy seasons
The wet season increases the risk of slip and fall accidents for workers. Scaffolding can get wet, muddy or slippery due to rain. To lower the risk of accidents, disassemble scaffolding at the end of each working day to protect it from getting rained on. However, this option may not always be viable, especially if you have set up semi-permanent scaffolds for long-term use. Instead, you should wipe down the platforms and ladders to get rid of mud and moisture. If the structure has wooden parts, check them for moisture damage before use.
Don't set up unanchored extensions
Sometimes, the rented scaffolding may not be tall enough to access parts of a building. In these instances, workers may decide to use temporary extensions, such as ladders and stacked boxes. These extensions can be incredibly dangerous because they are not anchored to the ground. They can sway or destabilise midair, exposing your workers to fall hazards. Before renting scaffolding, ensure that it meets your project's height requirements to avoid the need for temporary extensions.
Consider the above factors when setting up scaffolding for construction work. Rent high-quality scaffolding structures to lower the risk of accidents on your site.