With an estimated 2.3 million construction workers working on scaffolds during their work, scaffold injuries are commonplace. About one in five of all fatal falls on a construction site are falls from scaffolds. That’s over 60 people each year. However, you might not be surprised to learn that many of these falls can be avoided with proper planning and safety awareness.
Here are some basic safety tips to help avoid scaffold injuries on your job site:
- Keep your scaffolds at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Ensure the proper assembly of your scaffold when putting them up and taking them apart.
- Try not to use a scaffold in high winds or storms. If you are expecting possibly unsafe weather use additional safety equipment. This may include wind screens or personal fall-arrest harnesses. If a well-qualified, or “competent person” says it is too dangerous, heed their warning. This is someone who has had extensive training and experience in regards to scaffold safety.
- Look for missing bracing elements or tie-ins that might cause the scaffold to be weak.
- Have others watch out for falling objects from scaffolds. This can cause injury if something heavy falls.
These are only a few measures you can keep in mind to protect yourself and others when doing work on a scaffold. Remember there are many accidents also due to problems with guardrails and planks. In fact, in a study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), 72% of construction workers claimed the accident was caused by their support giving away or faulty planking, their slipping, or being struck by an object falling on them. It’s best to inspect your equipment regularly.
As an employer, you are required to provide safety training for every worker who uses a scaffold. The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR) says “a competent person must give safety training to any worker who assembles, takes apart, moves, operates, repairs, maintains, or inspects scaffolds.”
It’s important you choose a scaffold training course that teaches how to erect, move or alter scaffolds properly. You’ll also want to learn how to safely work around scaffolds and protect yourself from falling tools or objects.
Please contact us today to learn about our interactive workplace safety training courses. Offered online for the busiest professional our courses bring the learning to you and your employees.