Scaffold accidents are not inevitable, and many times occurs from common scaffold hazard safety. In fact, OSHA estimates that if construction sites comply with current safety standards, as many as 50 lives can be saved and 4,500 accidents prevented each year.
Training, education, the right equipment, and the proper use of that equipment are all necessary to reduce scaffold accidents and prevent common scaffold hazards. Let’s look at some of the most common scaffold hazards and some best practices to avoid them.
- Falls from an elevation: Guardrails, personal fall arrest systems, and fall prevention systems are all useful in preventing common scaffold hazard safety from falls and deaths and injuries these falls cause. It’s important to select equipment that meets current standards, install it properly, and use it as it’s intended to be used. However, the most important factor is education. Employees must be properly trained to use safety systems in order for them to be effective.
- Collapsing/overturning scaffolding: Scaffolds tend to collapse because they’re overloaded, improperly assembled, or have faulty parts. These highly engineered products have been designed to be erected in a specific configuration, in order to support a specified load. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, taking into account the weight of workers and materials and considering the buildings or structures that may be used to support the scaffold to make sure they’re capable of supporting the maximum intended load and preventing common scaffold hazards. To prevent overturning, properly tie or guy scaffolds. Take care when adding an enclosure to a scaffold, securing it with additional ties or guys to make up for increased wind loading. Work with an engineer to ensure the scaffolding is properly constructed, and never ride a rolling scaffold.
- Falling tools, work materials, or debris striking someone: Using toeboards or equivalent devices can help prevent injuries caused by falling tools, work materials, or debris. If materials will be piled higher than the toeboard or people will be working or passing under the scaffolds, provide a safety screen or a similar device of sufficient strength to keep objects from falling and causing a hazard. Before moving scaffolds, secure or remove all materials.
- Electrocution: To prevent electrocution and common scaffold hazards, never use or erect scaffolds near electrical power lines unless you have first consulted with a knowledgeable, qualified person. Whenever you must use power tools or temporary electrical wiring, be careful and obtain the proper training ahead of
Founded in 1998, Scaffold Resource, LLC has been a fixture and growing force in the Mid-Atlantic region’s scaffold industry for over two decades. The company has successfully grown in its ability to provide a vast array of vertical access services, implementing a three-fold base of growth. Through vast professional experience, willingness, and ability to use innovative approaches for difficult jobs, and a
mandate that makes safety the primary responsibility, Scaffold Resource has produced many successful and well-publicized projects.
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