Best Practices in Scaffolding: The Importance of Following Safety Regulations

May 16, 2016

safety

Scaffolding safety is a tough discipline because it splits across so many working domains. There's the erection of the frame to consider. A certified and trained team of workers needs to be managed by a competent person if the structure is to be properly erected. The pieces must be fastened securely and built to meet applicable national guidelines. If that's not enough, the personnel on the structure must work responsibly while retaining full awareness of potential dangers. The best practices in scaffolding are the ones that prioritize these dangers, the ones that put safety at the head of a long list of cross-disciplinary options.

The Importance of Safety Regulations

As seen from reading the above passage, safety, at least in the case of scaffolding, is a three-headed creature. Part one is the design of the cross-members and discrete fastening elements. They must be manufactured from high-quality metals and tough plastics, industrial-strength components that won't wear and fail when fully loaded. The second part of our case study is the professional erection of the tower. As good as every strut and fastener may be, it won't matter if the structure is poorly assembled. Safety regulations ensure both the manufacturing segment and the erection process are always conducted with a powerful safety margin in place. As for the third part of this simple but important equation, that's associated with the responsible usage of the platforms, the inclusion of safety rails, toe guards, and the special safety features designed to protect both the at-height worker and any individuals passing within range of the tower.

Following Safety Regulations

Every country and every management team does its level best to enforce the rules, but it's up to the individual to be a team player, someone who defines his or her actions in terms of these regulations. As long as the person does this, follows the best practices in scaffolding guidelines to the letter, then accident rates will drop. In America, this means placing booklets and posters on prominent display. The documentation here is administered by OSHA (www.osha.gov), a safety-oriented governmental agency. In Australia, we look towards Safe Work Australia (www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au), and in the United Kingdom, it's the Health and Safety regulations (www.hse.gov.uk).

And so it goes, with many commonalities bridging all of these nations. The rules are there for a reason, obviously, but it's up to a trained and responsible human being to act on them and preserve the lives of others when they're applying the best practices in scaffolding properly.

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