While scaffolding is a valuable and beneficial tool for many construction and renovation projects, it is also a safety risk if it isn't handled properly. For companies with a project that puts them in need of scaffolding, these safety risks are very real. You need to prioritize security and safety to protect your employees. Since you likely don't use scaffolding very often, you probably don't understand how to use it safely. Here's what you need to know about keeping your staff safe and secure even while using scaffolding.
Look For Rentals That Include Safety Equipment
Sometimes, when you rent scaffolding, you get nothing more than the scaffolding structure itself. Since scaffolding creates a risky environment, you should never rely just on that structure for your staff. Instead, make sure that the scaffolding incorporates as many safety features as possible, too.
Your scaffolding rental company may provide some of these features if you ask. For example, you may be able to rent a scaffold structure that includes guardrails or barrier boards that help provide a barrier at the edge of the scaffolding platform. This helps reduce the risk of workers falling off the scaffolding. It also minimizes the risk of injuries on the ground caused by falling tools that were kicked off the platform inadvertently.
In addition to the guardrails, you should also have a fall arrest system for each person who will work on the platforms. These systems usually consist of a harness and safety wire along with anchor clips to help prevent serious falls. With this type of system, it helps to protect anyone who may actually fall over the guardrail by stopping them from falling far enough to impact the ground. It is also helpful for you to understand the OSHA regulations related to the fall prevention requirements for work sites.
Have The Scaffolding Installed By Someone Certified In Its Assembly
The scaffolding structure must be sure for it to be safe. If you aren't overly familiar with its assembly and use, you may not get it assembled correctly. All it takes is a loose bolt or two for the structure's integrity to be weakened. As a result, make sure that your scaffolding rental company offers someone who is certified in scaffolding assembly to help you get the entire structure put together safely and properly.
Once the scaffolding is installed, have the technician show you how to fully inspect the entire structure and address any potential vulnerabilities. You will need to check things like the bolts on each level as well as the bolts and fasteners on the frame itself. The structure should be inspected at the start of every shift to ensure that it is stable and secure before anyone actually uses it.
Know The Scaffolding's Load Rating
Every scaffolding structure is assigned a load rating, or a weight limit that it can stand up to safely and without the risk of collapse. When you buy scaffolding, it's easy to familiarize yourself with the load rating and ensure compliance. However, when you are renting scaffolding units, you need to be sure that you know what the load rating is and comply with it.
Everyone on your work site should also understand the load rating so you know that the load weight is considered even when you aren't there to oversee the work. Your work site foreman should be familiar with it and ensure its compliance, too.
These are important considerations for those who may be renting scaffolding for any kind of job. The more you understand about taking care of your scaffolding and your staff, the easier it will be to get the job done successfully. Talk with a local scaffolding rental company, such as Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co., today for more information.