Scaffold Safety: Don’t Go Up Without It
Scaffolds are critical for ensuring that we’re able to safely and efficiently perform work on elevated structures or on equipment. They provide temporary working surfaces. But they also need to be built and used correctly.
Some of the hazards associated with scaffolds that we need to be aware of include:
- Falls to lower level – if we fail to properly wear personal fall arrest systems when required by the inspection tag or due to the removal of guard rails;
- Falling object hazards – from failure to contain tools and materials during elevated work;
- Weather-related – such as electrical storms, high winds, and snow/ice;
- Scaffold collapse due to overloading or scaffold instability;
- Electrical hazards from nearby power lines and electric service connections;
These hazards are managed a number of ways. For scaffold users, it starts by checking the inspection tag. Users must be aware of any hazards noted on the tag and any instructions for tying off.
Prevent falling object hazards, guardrail netting or a regulated area around the scaffold base (or lower levels) may be needed if there is work or traffic below and if objects used or staged on the deck could accidentally fall off.