by Frederike Berg
Scaffolding in autumn – 3 hazards to look out for
One of the best things about being a scaffolder is working in the fresh air all day. But at the same time, you should also be able to cope with bad weather.
In autumn, rain, darkness and storms make working on scaffolding much less comfortable. And as soon as the leaves start turning red, scaffolders know that it's time to prepare for a new set of hazards. Here we summarise how to minimize three of the biggest hazards during the stormy season.
1. Impairment of the safety of the scaffold
The statics and stability of a scaffold can be impaired by the storms and winds that occur more frequently in autumn. At the same time, rain can soften the ground on which the scaffolding stands and thus worsen its stability. To avoid accidents, both the scaffolding itself and its anchoring must be checked after every weather event to ensure that it can continue to be used. You can read about what you need to consider during a scaffold inspection in our blog article on this topic.
When planning the anchoring of the scaffolding, you also have to consider that the frequency of storms and the wind loads often increase in autumn. Especially for scaffolds with cladding, tarpaulins or other coverings, the differences in the anchoring grid can be decisive for the safe use of the scaffold. The use of anti-lift devices has also proven to be effective, as they prevent the scaffold planks from being lifted by the wind.
2. Caution, increased risk of slipping!
Wetness and leaves can quickly make walking on the scaffold a slippery affair. Such potential sources of danger must therefore be removed before the scaffold is used. In addition, areas with a risk of slipping must be marked as not accessible. To minimise the risk of slipping in general, you can use scaffold decks with anti-slip profiles. The perforated surface of the decks gives you more grip while walking on the scaffold and prevents the excessive accumulation of slippery dirt on the scaffold.
3. The risk of falling scaffold parts and tools is increased
Especially in windy or wet weather conditions, it is easy for a scaffolding part or tool to slip out of your hand or be blown off the scaffold. Both a heavy scaffolding component or a ratchet that at first seems rather harmless can cause considerable injuries, because they pick up speed while falling from the scaffold.
Simple nets or toe boards that you attach to your scaffolding can already significantly minimise the risk of accidents in autumn weather conditions.
If you want to store material on your scaffold, it should be placed in such a way that you do not stack it too high in order to create as little surface for the wind as possible. You should also always store material in such a way that it cannot fall over uncontrollably.
Scafom-rux is an expert in safe and efficient scaffolding systems. For more information about our scaffolding solutions and services, get in touch with our team.
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