Scaffolding is an indispensable part of any construction work. Whenever constructions have to be done at a higher elevation, a scaffold is a way to achieve that height for a worker to be safe. With the passage of time and the advancement of technology, just like other tools, scaffolding has also seen improvements in structure and technique.
Nowadays, scaffolding companies have made mobile scaffolds available, easing the tedious construction of elaborate scaffolding out of separate units. These scaffolds are easy to use, portable, considerably lighter, and make a fundamental part of the construction business much easier for business owners and workers alike.
Although the scaffold itself ensures that the worker is not just precariously perched at a dangerous height while doing his work, many other conditions have to be taken care of while using scaffolds to ensure a completely safe working facility.
Here is how:
- Clear out clutter from the workspace-
It is essential to keep the entire site surrounding the scaffolding free from unnecessary obstacles and clutter. A lot of safety hazards can be eliminated that way. E.g., there would be significantly fewer chances of the foot of the scaffold getting entangled in some cable or cord or of people carrying them to trip over objects lying scattered around.
- Keep surfaces dry-
It is understandable that in an area where construction is underway, there would be a fair bit of fluid substances in use, and therefore, lying around. But measures should be taken to ensure that the surfaces that people are walking on remain clean and dry. People should see that minimal spillage occurs, and even when it does, it is mopped up quickly and efficiently.
- Barricade off the construction area-
To avoid any accidents with passers-by, the entire area where the scaffolding is positioned needs to be barricaded off with properly visible signboards for all to see and understand quickly. This way, any accidental drops of tools or objects from high above can cause no harm to any oblivious person walking by right beneath the scaffold.
- Facilitate sufficient illumination-
A fair share of construction accidents happens due to poor visibility caused by insufficient lighting. Therefore, always ensure that the scaffolding area is well-lit, and the workers should be provided with ample lighting at all times of the day.
- Provide workers with adequate protective gear-
Donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an absolute must in any industrial work, and construction work is a critical part of that. Most of the injuries sustained involving scaffolding work happen due to falls or falling objects. Therefore, wearing proper footwear that supports friction, a hard hat, and fall-arresting equipment like harnesses are an absolute must for the workers involved.
- Keep load-bearing constraints in mind-
Each one comes with its load-bearing capacity for a mobile scaffold. Pushing to do more than it permits with its structure is not a good idea to play with since it brings in the inevitable chance of accidents. Hence, the load limit for the scaffold has to be factored in at the very beginning before assigning tasks.
- Be aware of all the rules and regulations-
Different countries and cities enforce their own rules and regulations for the construction business. It is imperative to keep them in mind and abide by them while setting up the scaffolding.
- Carry out regular inspections-
A thorough inspection needs to be done of the scaffold before setting it up for use. Also, checks need to be done at intervals to ensure there are no new developments that might threaten the safety of the working environment.
- Deploy trained and licensed people-
Being properly trained and licensed works both ways- both for the contractors and the workers. Knowing the proper safety guidelines and techniques helps the individuals work better from a safety perspective and ensures the team’s safety.
- Be mindful of the weather-
Common sense says that it is better to suspend work involving scaffolds momentarily in adverse weather conditions like heavy rain. Taking care of these seemingly minute points goes a long way in ensuring the safety of everyone concerned.
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With mobile scaffolds being made available nowadays, a significant chunk of labour involved in scaffolding work is being done away with. However, safety protocols remain the same no matter how much the task might get easier. After all, as they say, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry!