Scaffold Erectors and Dismantlers: Safety Do’s and Don’ts

March 29, 2016

scaffolding and net

In ensuring scaffolding is properly utilized, safety concerns receive a great deal of attention. These are the documented regulations initiated by governmental safety commissions, the training offered by scaffold erectors and dismantlers, and a focus on developing sound judgment calls, the inbuilt skillset we refer to as common sense. Entire books are written on this topic, but here's a concise list of safety do's and don'ts, safety-oriented absolutes directed at scaffolding erection and dismantling practices.

DO Be Site-Aware

There's metal in the frame, parts that are highly conductive. Always check the ground level for a stable base, but project this viewpoint upward. Look for electric cables, and never erect the frame anywhere near exposed electrical conductors.

DO Follow The Competent Person Rule

A competent person arbitrates the erection process, taking necessary steps to inspect every element of the work, including but not limited to the above check for exposed electrical conductors. Additionally, the designated individual is trained to spot other hazards. These danger zones typically relate to the condition of the temporary frame and the training level of workers. Once assessed, the issues are subject to corrective action, a move that initiates a recommended solution as mandated by local safety and health guidelines.

DON'T Take That Risky Choice

If there's any doubt whatsoever about a particular job, clarify the matter with the competent person or a site foreman. The erection and dismantling of scaffolding places at-height employees at risk, and the workers labouring below the tower are also in the way of harm, so qualified scaffold erectors and dismantlers must have the confidence to pause and ask questions.

DON'T Mistreat Scaffolding

Never overload the structure, and always assemble the fastening mechanisms with a mind to meeting weight capacities as set by the structural integrity of the scaffolding manufacturer. Even a minor impact from a passing vehicle will alter the dynamic weight bearing capacity of the frame, meaning everyone should head for the ground until the integrity of the tower can be assessed.

Scaffold erectors and dismantlers employ many resources in a ceaseless drive to prevent work-related accidents, incidents that are entirely avoidable when the structure is properly assembled. It starts with a hard hat, but the process rapidly extends to include handrails, toe boards, stabilization aids, and a slew of invaluable do's and don'ts. Ignore these guidelines at your own peril, but follow them and know the peace of mind that comes from safely erected staging components.

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