by Frederike Berg
6 rules for your work on the scaffold
Working in the construction industry is teamwork. This means that you are not only responsible for your own safety on the construction site, but also for the safety of your colleagues - and vice versa. This is especially true if you work at height, e.g. on scaffolds. Accidents, like falls from the scaffold, should be avoided at all costs.
A high quality scaffolding system is already the first good step towards working safely at height. But your behaviour on the scaffold is also crucial to ensuring that everyone goes home safe and sound at the end of the day. If you and your team pay attention to the following six rules, you can help each other to work safely on the scaffold.
1. Fall prevention starts even before you step on the scaffold
Falls from the scaffold should be avoided at all costs. Preventive measures can be taken before you even set foot on the scaffold. Before you enter the scaffold, make sure that each scaffold level on which you will be working has a three-part side guard. This consists of a toe board, guardrail and the middle rail.
There should also be no trip hazards on the scaffold as soon as you start your work. This also applies, for example, to open ladder access hatches. These should be closed before moving freely on the scaffold.
2. Avoid hazards from falling objects.
Let's face it: you know it's better not to do it, but it can still happen – an that is no longer needed is thrown from the scaffold to the ground. After all, that is the fastest way. To ensure that you and your team can work safely on the scaffold, you should still take the longer route and avoid throwing objects from the scaffold.
Falling objects, whether deliberately dropped or not, are also an increased risk if you are working on several scaffold levels at the same time, directly below and above each other. Try to avoid this if possible to avoid injury from falling parts.
3. Use appropriate stairs and ladders
To enable you to climb up and down the scaffold safely, each scaffold must have appropriate ladders, stairs or stair towers. Avoid jumping from one scaffold level to another or even from the scaffold to the ground.
4. Pay attention to the load-bearing capacity of the scaffold decks
Good scaffolding can take a lot. However, you and your team should always be aware of the load-bearing capacity of the scaffold decks. Only bring material onto the scaffold that can be supported by the decks. You should also make sure that the passageway is wide enough so that your work material does not become a tripping hazard.
5. Do not make any changes to the scaffold while it is in use
The stability of your scaffold must be guaranteed at all times during use. Therefore, you should not make any changes to the scaffold while it is in use. For example, you should not remove anchors, scaffold decks or side guards yourself. The subsequent assembly of rubble chutes should also not be carried out without further ado.
If modifications have to be made to the scaffold, it must not be used again until it has been inspected by a competent person who has received appropriate training. You can read more about scaffolding inspections by clicking on the link.
6. Report defects of the scaffold immediately
It may happen that you notice defects or damage to the scaffolding. You should report them immediately to the scaffolding company in charge or to your supervisor.
Do you have more questions about scaffolding safety? Our team will be happy to advise you! For more articles about working safely with and on the scaffold, feel free to click through to our scaffolding blog.
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