The Importance of Safety Standards in Scaffolding

August 19, 2015


Scaffolding constructs are built from modular sections of tubing. Designed to rise skyward on a mass of metal struts and cross braces, the framework is designed to be erected quickly, but this speedy assembly of parts is also determined by a highly disciplined construction ethic, a practice that's managed by trained installation crews with in-depth knowledge of the AS/NZS 1576 standard.

Assembled to Meet Structural Soundness Standards

A reputable scaffolding company tackles this safety-centric issue from many angles. There's the comprehensive training of work crews to manage so that hazards can be identified and eliminated. Of course, these work practices are important but they'd fall short of complete safety unless the equipment was designed to reinforce these installation techniques. With this thought firmly in mind, it's essential that the metal tubing is manufactured from a robust metal and that each section is accompanied by a high-quality fastening mechanism. These two installation assets thus assure the work site manager that the scaffolding tower will come together in its optimal form, presenting the structure as a stable and safe work platform.

Accounting for a Multitude of Industrial-Grade Details

The safety standards that guide scaffolding towers in Australia fall under the AS/NZS 1576, as we mentioned earlier, but some rogue installers might wonder why they can't just throw the tower together and give it a quick test for baseline safety. That's a fallacy that simply can't be allowed in scaffolding work. The tower is defined by a mountain of different parts, by quick snap fastener and screw-down clamps. Trestles and cross bars reinforce the structural integrity of the tower. Longitudinal braces partner with these components to spread load. It would be impossible to keep track of all of these elements without some form of organization, which is why safety standards are an essential ingredient in this scenario.

The Incorporation of a Physical Safety System

Mount one or more work platforms on the structure, but always add guard rail as mandated by the legislature of your national authority. The guard rail is composed of evenly spaced vertical braces and at least one longitudinal rail. Of course, several rails would enhance the safety factor. After all, some people forget that these regulations are there to protect employees below the scaffolding just as much as the licensed workers standing on the scaffolding platform. The hand rail and an added toe guard will stop building materials and tools from rolling off the platform and falling.

Become familiar with fundamental principles when erecting a safe scaffolding frame. For example, any employee working above the 4 metre mark is regarded as a high risk worker, someone who needs these protective mechanisms. Also, keep in mind that unpredictable factors are at work. A strong wind or an oily surface will double the risk factor. Introduce a scheduled inspection routine to catch these hazards and check the continued integrity of the scaffolding.

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