7 Safety Tips for Working with Scaffolding

Aluminum scaffolding

If you work in construction, you know how important it is to pay attention to worker safety requirements. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has very specific rules and regulations that construction companies must follow to avoid penalties and problems with the important agency. Most of these jobs involve using equipment such as ladder scaffolding. Whether you own your own or you rely on scaffolding rentals, there are things you need to do to keep your workers safe.

  1. Make sure everyone knows what they are doing. This holds just as true for the people who are working around the scaffolding as the people who will need to be on it. You need people to know how to get up and down on this kind of equipment. They also need to have completed the requisite fall prevention training as mandated by OSHA. It is not enough to have people go through one round of training but they should be required to have refresher courses from time to time. You also need everyone on your job site to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
  2. Make sure your people are prepared. That means you need to have all of the tools and equipment you are using inspected at the beginning and end of every shift. The people you have doing the inspecting need to be trained properly. A lot can happen during a shift and between shifts so this is a critical part of keeping everyone safe and sound while on the job.
  3. Get your staff the proper licenses. It is often easy to be upset with agencies like OSHA but the reasons they want construction companies to have the right licenses. That means the proper rules are adhered to and so are the proper procedures. This means that people who work on the site are safer. Construction sites are not the place to cut corners, especially when it comes to safety.
  4. Know your equipment. This is easy when you own it and can be a little more challenging when it comes to equipment rentals but you and your staff need to understand how much weight your scaffolding can handle. It is very easy ti get into trouble with this kind of equipment. You need to factor in the weights of all of the people who are on the scaffolding the materials and equipment they will bring with them. This can make the difference between a safe workplace and a catastrophe.
  5. Make sure everything is secure. When you have scaffolding, you need to secure it to a building or to a frame. The stability of the scaffolding can be very much compromised if you are not careful in the way that you secure it. This also means you should the parts that came with the scaffolding. You may think you can replace them with nails or screws that you have on the site but the manufacturer has included them for a reason. They were designed and selected to work with the specific equipment that you have.
  6. Get the right fall protective gear. There is a reason fall prevention gear and equipment exists and it is not to just cost a company more money. OSHA has very specific guidelines when it comes to when and where certain equipment has to be used. Make sure you understand what they require of you to prevent falls on your worksite. It is all too easy to overlook something that is easy to correct or prevent.
  7. Organization is your friend. Your people working on your scaffolding will have a lot of tools with them. The more organized you can help them be, the safer your work site will be. It is entirely too easy to trip over something or to kick or push it off the ledge where it can hurt someone walking and working below. When everyone is organized, they can also be more efficient in getting their work done. You want them working and not hunting for that tool they need.

Scaffolding is a very important piece of equipment but without taking the proper steps and plan, it can make for a very dangerous worksite for everyone. These simple steps can make the area much safer.