Preventing falls on scaffolding
When used correctly, scaffolding can be a helpful way for workers to reach high up areas and perform important tasks.
However, when not used correctly it can be very dangerous. It is crucial that all managers and supervisors know how to construct a safe working platform and provide sufficient fall protection.
The lack of fall protection and the potential collapse of the scaffold are some of the hazards that can happen because of an unstable structure or overloading of weight. Another risk is the danger of being struck by falling tools, debris and work materials plus when scaffolding is dangerously close to overhead power lines it can result in electrocution.
If the scaffold is deemed unsafe on a building site. workers will have the right to refuse to use it. Appropriate health and safety equipment is always needed to perform work on these platforms. Employers have the responsibility to ensure that any work tasks performed are done in the safest way possible.
Why scaffolding needs to be inspected
Before using a scaffold system, a survey of the work area needs to be performed to check for any potential hazards. This means looking for debris, high tension wires, ditches plus unguarded openings. They will also need to check any damage or alterations and if the system needs to be taken apart or moved it will require another inspection before being used to check nothing has become damaged or defective.
You will need to know the system’s load capacity before using it as the platform will need to be strong enough to hold the desired weight or it will be at risk of collapsing. Never try to fit more workers onto a scaffold platform than it can safely handle and do not overload it with equipment or materials.