Scaffolding is a dangerous but necessary part of construction labor. In fact, an estimated 2.3 million construction workers are on scaffolds on a regular basis. Every worker on a scaffold should have had scaffold-specific construction safety training. But, even if they have, it’s important to implement these safety tips on all construction jobsites.
It is estimated that there are 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities annually from scaffolding accidents. You can avoid these dangerous mishaps with a diligent construction staff and consistent safety practices. The main 4 ways that scaffolding accidents happen involve falls from dangerous heights, scaffold collapse or scaffold plank collapse, injury by falling objects, and electrocution. These tips are specially tailored to help avoid these four areas of possible injury.
10 Construction Safety Tips for Scaffolding:
1. Never operate a scaffold within 10 feet from electrical power lines
2. Keep your scaffold safe with toeboards, guardrails, and midrails.
3. Consistently inspect and re-inspect the scaffold. If the scaffold is suspended, its rigging should be inspected before each shift that it’s used.
4. Scaffolds should be capable of carrying four times the intended load without any sign of distress or displacement
5. Keep your craftworkers aware of the hazards of diagonal braces
6. Only allow responsible site supervisors to oversee the altering or moving of a scaffold
7. Use scaffold plank grade material to plank your scaffold platforms
8. Only use stable objects to support a scaffold or scaffold planks
9. Ensure that scaffolding rope is kept at a safe distance from heat sources
10. Only access a scaffold by stairwell or by ladder
Following these tips will keep your construction company hazard free and your craftworkers feeling confident in the riskier aspects of their work. For in-depth, in-person education on construction safety tips, Tradesmen International conducts a monthly Safety Campaign focusing on one aspect of worksite safety. Our Tool Box Talk sessions bring contractors and craftworkers together to discuss industry safety best practices.
Keep an eye out for our entire construction safety series, which will cover methods to increase safety on the jobsite. In the meantime, learn more about our construction safety philosophy at Tradesmen International and Be Safe.