Scaffolding is a temporary structure typically made of metal poles or wood; this type of structure is most commonly used by workers during the construction, repair, or cleaning of a building. While scaffolding can be very useful for a variety of projects, it is extremely important that safety measures are taken in order to protect the people who are working up on the scaffolding. If you own a company that utilizes scaffolding on a regular basis, use the following tips to keep your employees safe:
Scaffolding needs to be carefully constructed before it can be safely used. It is in your company's best interest to train a safety/compliance manager who will be on site during the construction of a scaffolding structure. The safety/compliance manager should be very skilled and experienced in erecting scaffolding and should supervise each step of the construction process to ensure that the scaffolding is put together properly and is completely stable. The scaffolding should not be used if any of the pulleys, blocks, fittings, or hooks show any sign of being damaged or worn out.
Pay Attention to the Weather
While scaffolding is safe to use most days, it is important to pay attention to the weather forecasts. It is never a good idea to have workers using scaffolding in high winds or during stormy weather. This is especially true of extremely tall scaffolding-- windy or extreme weather can make even a well-constructed scaffolding become unstable and dangerous to be working on.
Be Cautious of Unloading Debris
All workers should be advised to never throw debris over the top of the scaffolding unless there is a dedicated spotter working in the area. Throwing debris without a spotter can result in accidents and injuries to the workers on the ground near the scaffolding. If a spotter is not available, debris should be placed in debris chutes or hoisted down carefully.
Safety Equipment is Mandatory
Any employee who will be working up on scaffolding should be aware that the use of safety equipment is mandatory at all times. The safety belts and lanyards worn by employees while up on a scaffold should always be securely attached to the designated area to help protect against accidental falls. You may want to consider having your safety/compliance manager randomly audit the work site to ensure that all employees are abiding by the scaffolding safety rules.