Five Essential Safety Tips For Using Scaffolding
Scaffolding is necessary for many construction projects. But even if you've used it 100 times before, transporting it, setting it up, and using it comes with some risks. Follow these safety tips to prevent injuries when using scaffolding.
Do Not Prop the Scaffolding On Your Truck Bed
Stack everything into your truck in as flat a manner as possible. Put the plants and bases down first, and then put the frames on top of them. Do not prop anything up on the truck bed, as someone could bump into it when walking past your truck. If your scaffolding sticks out behind your tailgate, put a ribbon on the end of it so nobody runs into it.
Cover the Whole Width
When setting up your scaffold, make sure you have enough planks to cover the entire bay. This way, you won't accidentally step over too far and fall down. Partial planking can also make the scaffold imbalanced and increase your chances of a major collapse. If you are short on planks, invest in some more or ask the rental company to send some extras along.
Use a Guardrail
If you're in a hurry, you may skip the guardrail because it takes some time to put on. But unless you are wearing a safety harness, a guardrail is a necessary element when you are setting up scaffolding. The extra 30 minutes you spend putting it on may save your life or the life of one of your helpers.
Use Base Plates
The base plates are those pieces of wood or metal that you wedge under the bottoms of the scaffolding. Failing to use them may not immediately cause problems, but it does weaken the scaffold and make accidents more likely over time. Always use your base plates -- one under each leg -- even if the ground around the scaffold seems stable.
Climb With a Three-Point Grip
What this means is that three of your extremities should always be in contact with the scaffolding as you climb it. Only release one leg or arm at a time as you climb. Otherwise, if you slip, you may fall down. When you have three points in contact with the scaffold, you can afford to have one slip -- you'll still be holding on with two points. Never hold onto something as you climb the scaffold. Take it up in a belt or with a pulley.
For more information, contact companies like Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co.