Whilst scaffolding is extremely useful, it can also put construction workers at risk of injury if certain precautions are not taken. Here are two things construction site managers should do to ensure that employees who come into contact with scaffolding do not get hurt.
Make sure that the guardrails are secure
Many scaffolding-related accidents occur as a result of improperly-fitted or loosened guardrails. If a construction worker leans their full body weight against one of the scaffolding's guardrails and the rail in question is not properly secured, the rail could be dislodged and the worker could end up falling to the ground.
Even if the scaffolding platform on which they were standing was just a couple of metres off the ground, this type of fall could result in a severe sprain or a broken bone. A fall from a greater height could even be fatal.
As such, it is essential for those who are tasked with fitting the guardrails on the scaffolding at the beginning of the project to double check that they have carried out this task correctly. Additionally, the condition of the guardrails should be checked at the beginning of each workday.
The person performing this inspection should not only tighten any loose screws, bearings and bolts, but they should also look for corroded components, which could potentially compromise the structural stability of the rails. If any corrosion is spotted, the scaffolding should not be used until the damaged section has been repaired or replaced.
Keep the walkways clear
Tidiness is not usually a top priority on most construction sites; most labourers find that they are far too busy with their assigned tasks to worry about keeping their work areas neat and organised.
However, for those who need to carry out their work on scaffolding platforms, it is absolutely crucial to prioritise tidiness, as leaving things like scraps of timber, electrical cables and power tools on the scaffolding walkways can lead to serious accidents. This is because these walkways tend to be very narrow; as such, if there are any obstructions on them, there is a very good chance that a worker walking along the platform will trip over the debris.
If they do, one of two things will happen; either the person will fall forward onto the platform, in which case they could end up sustaining hand or face wounds, or they could trip and fall over the guardrail onto the ground. The latter could lead to a very severe injury.
It is extremely important for construction site workers who use the scaffolding to ensure that it remains free from any debris.