Effective Management of Scaffolding Systems to Ensure Workers' Safety

April 6, 2020

The safety of the workers holds a high priority especially in the construction business. Since they deal with dangerous equipment and working conditions, safety standards must be complied with to help protect workers on scaffolding systems. Most of the time, workers are injured in scaffold accidents because the planking or support gave way, or the worker slipped or was struck by a falling object. Builders have paid significant penalties for failing to make sure workers are safe. With some effort, builders can avoid these penalties-checking scaffolds for problems and getting them corrected makes it possible to avoid injuries and fatalities. Below is an overview of how to effectively manage scaffolding systems to ensure workers' safety.

Scaffolding System Usage

Scaffolding systems can be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision and direction of a "competent person." A "competent person" is someone who can identify hazards and is authorized to take prompt action to eliminate them. This individual should also inspect the scaffolds each day before workers use them and after anything happens to the scaffolds that could undermine their integrity.

It's important to not allow excessive debris and equipment to accumulate on or around the scaffold. Workers should have pulleys for pulling tools and equipment up and down the scaffold, leaving their hands free to climb access ladders. Don't allow anyone to work on scaffolds during storms or in high winds, and don't allow anyone to move a scaffold while workers are on it unless it's been designed for that purpose. Repair, replace, or remove any damaged scaffold parts.

Scaffolding System Structure

The base section of a scaffold has to be stable. It's impossible to erect a safe scaffold if the base rests on items like barrels, boxes, loose bricks, or concrete blocks. These items are unstable and unlikely to provide a level foundation. Instead, scaffolds should be set on base plates, mud sills, or other items that provide an adequately firm foundation. The footings should be capable of supporting the loaded scaffold without settling or moving.

No matter how stable the base, the scaffold won't be safe if the work platform doesn't remain upright. As a general rule, a scaffold becomes unstable once its height reaches four times its width. If the scaffold is four times as high as its base is wide, outriggers should be installed to increase the scaffold's width. An alternative to installing outriggers is to tie the scaffold to the structure under construction to keep it from tipping. If guys or ties are used, they should be installed on the horizontal member closest to the 4:1 width-to-height point.

For more information regarding scaffolding systems, contact us now at C&N Scaffolding. We can help you plan your next scaffolding project with the most cost-efficient and time-saving solution.

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