One of the most important yet often overlooked equipment for any construction project is the scaffolding. Sure, they may look like a rickety hodge-podge of wood and metal haphazardly connected together for construction workers to use while working on the different aspects of the project. But, considering that the construction site is one of the most dangerous places to work in, then you will realize just how important scaffold safety is.
Also known as staging, scaffolding is any temporary structure that workers can use to perform their functions, Galmon explains. Additionally, it serves as a temporary support for construction materials so that workers will have ready access to them. Just imagine if you were to build a house and you don’t have scaffolding, your workers will have to climb up and down the ladder just to get materials to be applied onto the upper portions of the project. Technically, you can look at a scaffold as a supporting structure to make work a lot easier.
Ensuring Scaffold Safety
It is for this reason that in installing scaffolding, safety must be a primary concern. Here are just some of the things that you need to consider when installing a scaffold.
- Make sure that all components of the scaffold are properly inspected before assembly and erection. Existing guidelines on the installation of scaffolds must be adhered to at all costs.
- Never use damaged or deteriorating equipment.
- The scaffold must be able to support its own weight in addition to 4 times the maximum intended load. It’s better to use aluminum scaffolding and other types made of strong material to ensure sturdier support.
- For stationary scaffolds that are more than 125 feet high or rolling scaffolds more than 60 feet high should be designed by a licensed professional engineer.
- Scaffolding must be erected on firm, solid, and level ground.
- To ensure safety, bracing, guying, or tying the scaffolding to more secure infrastructure may be needed.
- The installation of scaffolds must be supervised by a qualified individual, preferably a safety engineer.
- The platforms for the scaffolding must adhere to specific government guidelines including its spacing, overall width, and treatment.
- Scaffolds must have guardrails on all open sides.
- All scaffolds must be regularly inspected by a qualified individual or the project supervisor and regularly maintained as well.
Considering that the scaffolding will bear the brunt of construction work activity, it must be installed properly. By reading all the relevant regulations and requirements for scaffolding installation, you can be sure that your construction project will proceed without any incident.