August 20, 2020
Scaffolding is a temporary structure that can be built to give workers access to higher areas. It acts as a platform that is suspended in the sky to work on harder to reach areas. They are widely used in the construction industry and provide a simple and cost-effective solution to many problems. Below in this guide we will go over the basics of scaffolding and everything you should be doing to get the most out of it.
With all pieces of equipment, you should look at them in a way that would avoid risks. Your first step in this matter would be to find out what areas could cause potential harm. Observe where your team or yourself will be working and identify the areas where you will be using the scaffolding. Look at the setting in which it will be constructed including the ground on which it will stand on.
Inspect the scaffolding before and after you erect to ensure that it is in a safe working condition. Ask your team if they have had the necessary training or have any underlying medical issues that would prevent them from going onto the equipment. A lot of accidents can be avoided before anyone even steps foot on the scaffolding.
Assess the risks
After trying your best to mitigate all of the potential risks, you should then do a worst-case scenario and assess what kinds of risks could lead to accidents. It may be worthwhile to carry out a risk assessment to put in writing the likelihood of someone getting injured or harmed on the equipment. These assessments can help you determine what actions you should be taking to ensure the safety of your crew and anyone nearby. Additionally, it will also tell you how quickly you need to act on some outstanding matters.
Understanding who is involved
If you’re a one-man band then you will more than likely be the individual on the scaffolding. However, if you are a part of a larger team there may be several different individuals using the equipment. From such you need to assess each person and if they are able to perform their duties.
We briefly touched on this above but be sure to have a close look at each employee and understand their background and if they have the relevant training and experience to work. Underlying health issues such as vertigo could be a problem and should be addressed prior to any sort of training.
If there are more than one business using the equipment you may also need to consult them to ensure that all appropriate measure are in place. This could include the pack-up and tidying-up of tools at the end of a day.
Choosing your scaffolding
After identifying all of the major risks your next task should be to choose the equipment that you want to use. This stage of the process can be quite a lengthy one because not only are you looking at different brands and materials, you also have to decide which design you will go with.
There are many different materials and designs that each have their own benefits for different jobs. Controlling your risks even further also relies upon this step as when choosing your material you need to take into consideration the failure weights for each design. Different designs and materials will have different failure points so it’s important to repeat this step for each job. Even if you have used them in the past it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this equipment.