Scaffolding safety remains just as significant as ever in modern construction projects, regardless of the ease, conditions and the flexibility that new systems may provide. To ensure reliable and safe scaffolding, it is important for scaffolding services and construction managers to carry out extensive checks of the safety features that are built into these structures and review the operatives understanding of safe working practices when working at height. This article examines some of the key considerations around scaffolding services and the critical safety features/practices that must be present.
Structure and Accessibility
The design of scaffolding systems differs significantly depending upon the purpose of the structure (i.e. building work, restoration or maintenance) and the size of the construction project. Scaffolding systems such as “Cup” and “Kwikstage Lock” are suitable for large and long-term projects, such as industrial warehouses and tall commercial building. The primary benefit of this system from a health and safety perspective is the flexibility to design a structure that fits perfectly to the building’s shape and features. As a result, this allows the scaffolding services and engineers to create a structure that takes into account overhanging constructs and dangerous elements, such as power control systems; this will then allow a safe working platform for operatives to work from. For smaller buildings, such as residential homes and one-storey office complexes, “mobile scaffolding towers” are a popular option because they include in-built safety features; including pre-fitted harness systems, accessibility points, netting and platforms that ensure safer working practices and ease of access for workers.
Safety standards should be adhered to by all scaffolding systems and operatives. Fully trained and practised specialists must erect the construction and fit the necessary security components; including handrails, planks and netting wherever needed. All structures must be dismantled correctly and when the scaffold assembly is in use, they ought to be frequently checked for system failures. Individuals who work on scaffolding should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats and safety harnesses. Depending on parts and the risks, a worker might also wear protective glasses or hand protection
It is crucial to make sure whatever kind of scaffolding is acceptable for the job, experienced and competent scaffolding services correctly erect the structure and undertake regular safety checks. Furthermore, scaffolding systems need to be kept in good condition, repaired, reconditioned and replaced to remain safe and be at an optimum working state. In addition to this, there are many options available in regards to deciding whether or not to buy or hire scaffolding systems. It is not uncommon for construction companies to choose hired or second-hand scaffolding, which can be a low-cost alternative. However, it is essential that a comprehensive safety check is carried out by a scaffolding engineer as there are deadly hazards and impending dangers associated with these choices; so be cautious when contemplating either.