How to stay safe on the scaffold in cold and icy conditions

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How to stay safe on the scaffold in cold and icy conditions

Winter can be a challenging season for scaffolders, with freezing temperatures, biting winds, and icy scaffolding decks. However, by implementing a few crucial measures, you can increase both the safety and comfort of your work during the colder months. Here are three essential practices for working on the scaffold in ice and cold weather.

1. Regular scaffold inspections

Especially in typical winter weather conditions, including strong winds, snowfall, and rain, regular scaffold inspections become paramount. Ensuring the stability of your scaffold is crucial, but equally important is the detection of slipping hazards caused by ice, wetness, or mud.

You want to learn more about scaffold inspections? Then click here to read our blog article on everything you need to know about inspecting a scaffold.


2. Remove snow and ice from the scaffold

With the onset of snowfall, winter truly arrives, potentially causing delays in scaffold work. Before the scaffolding can be used, it must first be cleared of snow and ice and marked as inaccessible. The responsibility for snow clearance—whether it falls on the scaffold erector or scaffold user—is usually predetermined by contract.

If it is your job to remove snow and ice from the scaffold, you should always take extra care and use PPE where necessary. Avoid the use of road salt, as it can harm scaffold decks and facades; instead, opt for sand to prevent damage to the scaffold or building structure.


3. Temporary roofs for increased safety

Winter not only brings the challenges of snow and ice but also an increased risk of falling due to strong winds. Personal protective equipment and collective protective equipment, such as TRBS 2121-compliant safety guardrails or comprehensive systems like the Scafom-rux SUPER RS modular façade scaffold, can significantly improve safety. In addition, the use of temporary roofs is an effective safety measure during the cold season, protecting your construction site and minimizing work stoppages caused by adverse weather conditions.

Download our comprehensive overview of system-free weather and construction site protection here.

 

By incorporating these three essential practices into your daily work in winter, you can contribute to a safer working environment. Regular inspections, careful snow and ice clearance, and the use of temporary roofs help you in meeting the challenges brought about by winter weather.

For more information and best practices for staying safe on the scaffold, also see our other safety related blog articles.

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