Essential Scaffold Safety Tips

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Practical tips and considerations for preventing falls whilst working on scaffolding

Scaffolding is not a new thing – the ancient Egyptians, Nubians, Chinese and Greeks all used scaffolding-like structure to build tall buildings, some of which are still in existence today.

Most of you reading this probably already know a bit about scaffolds because you work with them every day, but for those of you who are new to them, let’s cover the basics.

A scaffold is a temporary structure that is constructed so that workers have a stable platform when they have to work on something higher than ground level. There are some inherent risks with using them, because you’re dealing with height, but if it is erected properly and used in a safe way, these risk are eliminated. In the construction industry, being safe on a scaffold is called ‘fall prevention’.

Be sure to read through this fall prevention code of practice  provided by Safe Work Australia.

Scaffold safety is not the most interesting subject in the world, but it is a very important one. It’s what we are going to look at in this blog. Following the tips will ensure the safety of your employees and the public.

Slow down

Often there is a real impetus in construction to get the work completed as soon as possible so that it fits in with the project’s schedule and budget. But a rushed job is often an unsafe one. By hurrying things along, you are opening yourself up to mistakes that could jeopardise someone’s health on the jobsite. When on a scaffold, that mistake could be lethal.

However, if you are really pushed for time, try focusing on acquiring tools and trade practices that are more efficient, rather than doing what you are doing at a faster pace. By being more organised, communicating clearly and improving your time management on a project, you don’t have to sacrifice safety for speed.

Identify Hazards

As with most areas of safety, being aware of potential hazards will minimize the risk of injury. This should be done prior to any work being done right through to its completion.

This can be anything from seeing that the scaffold is not too close to power lines, to telling someone when paint is spilled on the surface. And it just doesn’t have to be the site manager or the person in charge of safety doing this either. Everyone working there can keep an eye out for dangers and notify the responsible parties.

Be organised

If you’re organised, you’re going to greatly reduce the risk of hazards. Clean up any mess immediately and make sure the tools are always placed in a secure area to prevent them falling off the scaffolding.

Training

Occupational Health and Safety training in is important for any job, but it is absolutely essential when it comes to working with scaffolding because it is a high risk environment. Ensure everyone working on the scaffolding is up to date with the latest OHS training.

If you don’t have people who are certified to train your staff about scaffold safety, you can contact scaffold training providers such as ourselves to do it for you.

Scaffolding is a very useful piece of equipment, but it can also be a dangerous. If you follow proper scaffold safety, you can prevent any harm coming to your employees and the general public.

If you don’t have people who are certified to train your staff about scaffold safety, you can contact scaffold training providers such as ourselves to do it for you.