by Frederike Berg
Best practices for scaffolders during stormy weather
Autumn brings more storms that scaffolders need to be prepared for. With the right precautions, you can protect your scaffolding from strong winds and heavy rain before the first storm hits. But even during and after the storm, there are a few things to consider and do to keep your work site safe.
When to stop working on the scaffolding during a storm
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is more important than ever, especially in seasons that tend to bring more storms than sunshine. This allows you to react in good time to approaching strong winds and storms and deciding whether it is safe to continue working on the scaffold.
As with all safety and rescue processes on the scaffold, one person in the team must be designated to decide whether to stop work when a storm is approaching. This person is determined and documented in the risk assessment carried out beforehand.
In general, the safety of you and your team on the scaffold always comes first and when in doubt it is better to err on the side of caution. Because continuing to work on the scaffold in strong winds does not only involve the risk of your team falling off the scaffold, but also puts passers-by at risk of injury from falling objects.
Clear the scaffolding of any loose scaffolding parts and tools
During a storm, no scaffold parts or tools should be left unsecured on the scaffold. This is because they can quickly fall down, especially in high winds, causing serious injury or property damage.
So, while it is still safe to walk on the scaffold, you should remove any loose material from the scaffold before the storm reaches your project site.
The calm after the storm: inspect your scaffold for potential damages
After any weather event - be it a storm, heavy rain or even snow in winter - your scaffold must be inspected by a competent person before you can use it again. This is to ensure that any possible damage to the scaffolding does not pose a safety risk. Scaffold inspections check whether any parts of the scaffold or anchors have been loosened by the storm and whether any nets or other protective systems need to be reinstalled. It is also important to remove any dirt caused by the storm that could create a slip hazard before resuming work on the scaffold. Read more about scaffolding inspections by clicking on the link.
Whether in storm, rain or sunshine - your safety on the scaffold always is always paramount. Not only in autumn is it important to prepare your scaffolding for possible risky weather events and to follow some rules of conduct during and after the storm. This will help you and your team get through any season safely. For more information on scaffolding safety and best practice, see our other blog posts below.
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