Why is it important to handle your scaffolding correctly?

Scaffolding is a key piece of equipment in the construction industry, but it is important that any worker erecting or dismantling it is fully aware and competent in doing so. Incorrect use of scaffolding can lead to injuries of your workers or any pedestrians around you. In a recent article in the scaffolding magazine Scaffmag they talk about a scaffolding firm in London who were fined £160,000 because their scaffold collapsed. The collapse occurred while the scaffold was being dismantled after work was complete and the firm was fined for safety failings. You can read all the details of the story through the link below.

London scaffolding firm fined £160,000 after scaffold collapse | ScaffMag.com

 

It was confirmed through an investigation by the HSE that the incident happened because of a lack of training and adequate instruction. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, there have been an avoidable number of accidents involving scaffolding over the years. Luckily, no one was injured in this situation, but they easily could have been. This article shines a light on the importance of appropriate training before any use of scaffolding.

It is particularly essential now as workers could be a bit out of practice using scaffolding due the coronavirus pandemic and not working for a while and may require some refresher training. Also, if you’re taking on any new employees make sure they are trained in all areas that are necessary to their role to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

 

How else can you make sure you’re using your scaffolding safely?

Some tips to keep in mind when you want to use your scaffolding as safe as possible include

  • Protection of the public- it is important that the public is excluded from the work area and a substantial area around it. This can be done by getting a temporary pavement or road closure while work is being carried out, working during quiet hours, and having barriers and signs to divert the public away.
  • Safe working at height- scaffolds must have safe systems of work to prevent a worker from falling. For example, a minimum 3 board working platform with a single guard rail is provided while erection or dismantling is in progress. Also, safety harnesses must be worn at all times by scaffolders and the harness should be clipped onto a secure anchorage point.
  • Stability of scaffolds- to secure your scaffold properly to prevent the risk of collapse you should ensure the anchors that tie a scaffold to a structure are suitable for the base material and check that they are installed correctly. Don’t remove anchors too early during dismantling operations.

 

Hopefully, we will start to see a decline in the number of scaffolding related accidents as more training is provided and regulations followed. If you are looking for scaffolding or ladders for your business, then explore our website to see our high-quality range that are recommended for tradespeople. Also, you can get in touch with our team if you have any questions or queries.

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