A scaffold is a handy resource on the construction site, but if it is improperly used, it can become a danger to your employees. Before your employees use the scaffolding, it is important that you review safety standards with them. In addition to that, here are some other safety measures to keep in mind when using a scaffolding.
Prep the Scaffolding Daily
Even if you and your employees used the scaffolding the day before and there were no problems, you should never use it again without first taking the time to prep it again. Every day, the scaffolding's legs and braces need to be checked.
Ensure that the locks are in place and that every other component, such as the guardrails, is properly installed and secured.
The area in which the scaffolding is being used also needs to be checked. Ensure that there are no wires hanging over the area and that all obstructions have been removed. Remember, there is an electrical risk associated with using a scaffolding around overhanging wires.
If any scaffolding is in need of replacement or repair, tag it with an "Out of Service" label. This will signal to your employees that it is hazardous to use that particular scaffold.
Use Safety Equipment
Each person that has to work using the scaffolding has to wear safety equipment. In this instance, safety equipment means a hard hat and sturdy no-slip shoes.
For added safety, consider using a fall arrest system. The system would use a body harness, lifeline, and various other components to keep an employee safe in the event that he or she falls while on the scaffolding. Always double-check each component of the fall arrest system before using it.
Watch the Pace
Although you and your employees might be focused on completing the project in a certain time period, never compromise safety for speed. While working on the scaffolding, employees need to work at a slow, steady pace. Working faster can lead to careless mistakes that can cause an accident.
Emphasize to your employees the importance of avoiding quick, sudden movements. This can cause the scaffolding to sway or even lead to an employee falling.
There are many other techniques that you can use to keep your employees safe while using scaffolding. Consult with companies that provide scaffolding for rent and review the state and federal worksite safety requirements to provide the safest work environment for your employees.