Working in the construction industry can be rewarding and dangerous all at once. Depending on what job you hold at the construction site you could be in danger each time you go to work in the morning. Our Los Angeles construction accident attorney, Howard Craig Kornberg, provides eight safety tips for working on scaffolding in today’s post.
1. Receive the Proper Training
Safety regulations require all workers who will be on or near scaffolding receive the proper safety training before beginning an assignment. The training should include learning about how the scaffolding is operated and how it is designed. Part of this training should involve how to safely board and disembark the scaffolding, how to prevent falls, and how to handle emergency situations on the scaffolding.
2. Know the Load Capacity
It is vital for you and anyone else working on the scaffolding to know its load capacity. The last thing you want to do is put too much equipment or materials on the scaffolding and cause it to break a line or collapse. Load capacity also includes the weight of all the employees who will be working on it.
3. Use Guardrails
Scaffolding can have guardrails installed that should be used by all workers. If the scaffolding you are working on is higher than 10 feet it should have guardrails on all three sides of the equipment that does not face the building. It is still dangerous on the side that faces the building so you should install guardrails there as well.
4. Inspect the Scaffolding Regularly
The scaffolding needs to be inspected often to ensure there is nothing wrong with it and to ensure the safety of all those working on it. The best time to inspect the scaffolding is in the morning, especially if the job site is left empty in the overnight hours. An inspection will help you find broken equipment, loose straps, and issues with the anchors that can be repaired prior to the next use.
5. Organize the Scaffolding
All of the equipment and the materials loaded onto the scaffolding should always be organized. When things are in the proper place it will help prevent you and other workers from tripping and getting hurt. This includes putting tools away so they do not drop to the ground below or even damaged by getting stepped on.
6. Always Wear PPE
Never board scaffolding without wearing your personal protective equipment, or PPE. This gear includes harnesses, a hard hat, goggles, non-slip shoes, gloves and any other equipment that can keep you safe while on the scaffolding.
7. Platform Needs to be Secured
The platform of the scaffolding must be secured in order to prevent collapse. Secure it to the building itself so that one end of the scaffolding doesn’t fall, leaving the rest of the equipment holding on by a thread.
8. Level the Scaffolding
When setting up scaffolding you need to make sure it is completely level. This helps you and other workers balance themselves when working on it, making it easy to walk around with tools, equipment, and building materials.