A scaffold is very useful to have when carrying out a construction project. Whether you’re carrying out some simple roof maintenance or you’re working on repairs on a high-rise building, scaffolding is a practical solution to ensure that you stay safe while working at height. While scaffolding is designed to provide sufficient support and enhanced safety to those working at height, there are some general do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of before you use it.
Training must always be carried out by a qualified person to teach you how to deal with various hazards, along with how to use scaffolding correctly. This should include how to handle materials on the scaffold and the load capacities of the scaffold. A health and safety check should also be carried out before you use a scaffold; there are also certifications for workers who specialise in working on scaffolding.
You should always be wearing the correct safety gear to avoid any injuries or accidents. Safety helmets and hi-vis jackets should always be worn when working on scaffolding, as well as safety belts or harnesses. Using safety ropes for heavy equipment and tools will also help to prevent potential accidents.
Different scaffolds have different weight capacities, and it is important that you understand the weight capacity before you work on a particular scaffold. The weight capacity guidelines are there for a reason; exceeding the weight could weaken the scaffolding tubes and lead to failure of the structure, resulting in a serious accident.
The scaffold should be regularly inspected to reduce any potential risks, such as the platform not being properly secured. Remember, just because a scaffold platform was fine yesterday, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be reviewed before using it again the next day. When exposed to the elements, scaffolding can twist and flex.
You may be shocked to learn that some scaffolders use unsuitable alternatives or ‘solutions’ for their platforms. For example, using rocks or bricks to support the scaffolding on uneven ground. You should never do this – always use height-adjustable scaffolding and suitable flexible feet to ensure that the scaffold is structurally safe.
If the scaffold is missing components, such as planking, guardrails or toeboards, or the scaffold appears to be damaged in any way, you should not use it. The scaffold must always be in top working condition and inspected and reviewed by a competent person before use. Unless you have received training in scaffold erection, you should never attempt to repair a scaffold yourself.
At DH Scaffold Services Ltd, we offer superior scaffold designs for projects across the UK, and are committed to providing expert scaffolding consultant services. For more information, visit our website today.