Safety of workers is the primary concern in any kind of construction or maintenance work. There are basically three areas in which these issues take importance. They are:
- The work practices of workers
- Protective gear in use and
- The scaffold system being used
The structure and the design of this support are very important to ensure that workers using it are safe. This can be ensured by a thorough inspection by the team and its leader. When inspecting following points should be kept in mind:
- Check footings since it is the foundation on which the entire support tower is standing. Footings must be sturdy enough to withstand weight of workers and equipment needed to be carried up.
- Toe boards, ladders, cross braces and guardrails are the other things to be sure about in terms of scaffolding safety.
- Guardrails should have some very minimum measurements; they should be 4 inches wide and 3.5 inches in height. 10 feet of spacing between them should be maintained. If these measurements are not adhered to then the scaffolding will not be very sturdy and can prove dangerous too.
- Now, when a building is being painted, cleaned or any other maintenance work is done; there are bound to be passersby who may need to go underneath the scaffold. Their protection is also the responsibility of the contractor. This is where toe boards come in. These boards ensure that equipment or any other material does not fall down and cause injury to incent passersby.
- When workers need to get down or climb up they will be using ladders and cross braces; therefore easy access to them is necessary. Moreover they should be securely tied to the entire support tower.
- Poles should also be thoroughly inspected for any wear and tear.
These cannot be emphasized enough. However, it is often seen that contractors are relaxed on this matter to save cost. This is highly unethical since people’s lives are at stake.
- Such protective gears include hard hats which should not only be worn by those working but also those people who may just be visiting the site for any reason.
- Non-skid shoes are another way to remain safe. These ensure that workers have a good grip in their upward or downward movement.
- Safety belts are another compulsory item on the list; this is especially important if the scaffolds are of the swinging type. These belts needless to say must be attached to something that is secure and reliable.
There are some very important guidelines to be followed by all construction sites, their contractors and the workers there. These have been specified by the government.
As a logical thing to do; there should not be too much equipment or tools offloaded or put up on the support tower. Only the amount that will be used on the day should be taken and not the next day’s supplies too!
Matt Arthur – an expert and talented author, he involves in writing on creative and engaging content about various types of scaffolding, crane truck and temporary fencing.