Scaffolding is a domain that cannot be left to chance when constructing a building, working on an extension or simply hoping to maneuver around a domain that needs some interior conditioning above ground.
The good news across the board is that associations, institutions and worker bodies alike have responded to casualties and injuries with preventative measures that are directed at solving a number of key issues.
Falls from a height and the falling of tools and debris account for a large portion of these accidents and to ensure that these professionals return home from site in the same healthy condition in which they arrived, they have to tick off a series of boxes.
Occupational Health and Safety standards are vital to adhere to for any collection of builders and developers operating around these constructions, but the theory must be put into practice via a handful of valuable tactics.
Comprehensive Employee Training
In previous generations, the safety measures and emergency procedures for those working with scaffolding might only have been known by a site manager or a handful of individuals who were tasked with catering for the team as a whole. In 2018 that is simply not the case as each and every worker on site must have a background and education with operating in this unique setting.
From the different structures that are included to the ability to respond to emergencies, there can be no stone left unturned. The cases of oversight and negligence are cut down when employees and contractors understand how best to secure themselves to these structures and how to remove themselves safely from the pathways.
Certified License For All Workers
The license that is obtained by scaffolding workers is the confirmation that each individual has undertaken an up to date educational course in the field. This license will be unique and dependent on the stipulations of a particular country and state, yet there will be universal principles and standards that apply to these licenses. Just as citizens are required to maintain their drivers license if pulled over by police, there can be inspections that take place in these environments to ensure that safety measures are being adhered to.
Check Load Ratings
The load ratings are paramount when consider if the scaffolding will be compromised at any stage of the development. Should the load-bearing fail to calculate new electronic equipment, hammers, nails, buckets of cement or other items that will place stress on the structure, then collapses can take place. Anything that can cause stress to the bars and planks could result in an accident. In order to adhere to safety regulations and for the wellbeing of those on the site, it is vital that workers are mindful of the load rating and not to venture beyond that listed mark.
Utilize Guardrails Where Possible
Having identified the falling of workers and of debris and items as one of the leading causes of death and injury with scaffolding, the role of the guardrails becomes all the more important. The three sides that are facing away from the building must be secured with guardrails when situated on a second level or above, although many developers will secure the parameters to utilise all four sides as a precautionary measure. The greater the use of the guardrail, the less likely a fall will occur.
Check Local Laws and Industry Guidelines
There will be unique qualities that are evident when dealing with scaffolding depending on the environment. Between New South Wales and Queensland to high-rise buildings and town house developments or suspended structures and trestle, there will be particular laws and industry guidelines that dictate how a team should conduct themselves. In some cases there will be contractors who have to embrace a particular mode of fall arrest systems when there are hazardous materials below. In other cases there could be locking implementations necessary or distance requirements when working in proximity to power lines and cables.
Run Regular Inspections
From a comprehensive inspection that is conducted prior to development to regular short checks that are run intermittently during the day, scaffolding has to be diagnosed during consistent intervals. When professionals are switching between angles and altering their position in conjunction with their equipment, it is paramount that there are department officials who can gauge the condition of these structures. Ideally an inspection is carried out by an independent party or contractor prior to commencement of the project, with an on-site developer running the additional checks subsequently.
The bottom line when it comes to safety measures for scaffolding is that the workers are only as safe as the structure allows them to be. Professionals in carpentry, welding or plumbing can have decades of experience and knowledge, but if a balance beam is faulty or there is a missing link for a guardrail, tragedies can occur.