It’s a terrible thing to realize that hardly a workday goes by without a construction worker falling off a scaffold to his or her death. And those who survive scaffold falls are often crippled for the remainder of their life.
These tragedies are sometimes caused by faulty design or poor construction. But in most cases the basic cause is poor maintenance or improper use, something that you can correct.
Typical normal people “keep both feet on the ground.” And typical normal construction workers keep both feet on the scaffold. Here’s how you can be sure to keep your feet there:
- Inspect scaffolds daily before you trust your life to them. Check guardrails, connectors, fastenings, footings, tie-ins and bracing.
- Check to see that platforms are closely boarded, fenced, and securely fastened.
- Don’t stockpile materials on scaffolds. Remove all tools and leftover materials at the end of the day.
- Never overload scaffolds. Pile necessary materials over ledge and bearer points.
- Help protect scaffolds; don’t bang into them with equipment or materials.
- Keep platforms and areas near scaffold clear of debris, unneeded equipment or material and anything else that might cause you to slip or trip.
If you are new to a project or facility be sure to attend a safety orientation on the company’s policies and procedures regarding scaffolding. This safety orientation should take place prior to work beginning on the scaffold.
Give a scaffold the respect it deserves, and it’ll serve you as a convenient work-platform. Scaffolds can have very serious consequences when they are used inappropriately or when they are erected incorrectly. A fall from scaffolds can have devastating consequences.
Click here to download a pdf copy of our free safety meeting on Scaffolding Safety.
By: Paul Taulbee