We have all seen Popeye the sailor man working on raised scaffolding without any care. The reasons for his fearlessness were Spinach and Olive. Unfortunately, spinach does not stir any magical strength instantly in real life, which is why, working…
We have all seen Popeye the sailor man working on raised scaffolding without any care. The reasons for his fearlessness were Spinach and Olive. Unfortunately, spinach does not stir any magical strength instantly in real life, which is why, working on raised scaffolding can be dangerous if one does not take proper security precautions. On the other hand, scaffolds can be safer than ladders if they are erected properly. The scaffolding should be assembled under the supervision of an experienced and competent person and the structure thus erected should be able to support four times the maximum intended load, including its own. Apart from these general precautions, the workers should follow the following scaffolding safety tips to avoid unwanted accidents and injuries.
Knowledge is Might
It is important for the workers to have a proper knowledge about how scaffolds are designed and operated. They should be aware of the federal, state and local regulations covering the use of scaffolds. Scaffolds might be required in a plant, warehouse or construction site so the uses vary from one job to another. The workers should be well trained to work on the scaffolds safely.
The workers should make sure that a competent person has inspected the scaffold before they climb the structure. It is very important to check that the base of the scaffold is secure and the planks have been fitted safely. The employees should also check the workplace for ditches, debris, high-tension wires, unguarded openings, etc. The workers should not use the scaffold if it is defective. Also, the workers should ensure that the ties attaching the scaffolds to the buildings are tightly secured.
Reliance is the key
It is vital to make sure that the company which provides scaffolding products and services is licensed, its engineers are experienced and certified and its equipments meet the CSA standard.
Insurance is essential
In order to save money, some over-clever employers tend to hire workers who are neither insured nor licensed. As mentioned before, working on scaffolding can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that the training of the employees working on the scaffold should include knowledge about the handling of materials, and uses of personal fall arrest systems and falling object protection systems. The workers who are not trained do not only risk their lives but also the lives of others.
Don’t overburden the structure
Exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended load rating can be a grave mistake. The employees should remember that the scaffolds should be able to support at least four times the maximum intended load, including its own weight.
Some Additional Safety tips
The employees should wear a hard helmet irrespective of whether they are working on the scaffold or under it.
The shoes worn by the employees should have soles with firm grips to avoid slipping.
All the tools and debris should be removed from the scaffold platform.
It is important to equip all open sides and ends of scaffold platforms with guardrails.
The employees should stay alert at all times while working on scaffolds.