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Six Safety Problems You Don't Want To Create When You're Using Scaffolds

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Scaffolding is important for making work at elevated levels safer and more efficient. However, safety precautions need to be taken to ensure that scaffolding safety problems don't develop. Such problems could put staff members at risk of falls and other accidents.

The following are six safety problems you don't want to create when you're using scaffolds to minimize the chance of injury around your worksite:

Lack of a guardrail in place

Scaffolds at higher elevations should always include guardrails. Guardrails protect workers from falling over the ledge of scaffolds. Ideally, guardrails should include multiple bars over scaffold edges.

Guardrails should be secured with toggle pins, bolts, or pigtail hardware to ensure that scaffolding components remain properly secured as work is carried out. 

Partially unplanked bay platforms

Don't get into the bad habit of using scaffolds that are missing planks over some bay sections. This creates a significant hazard. Regardless of how well trained or aware your workers are, they could still possibly fall through unplanked bay platform portions accidentally if you leave planks missing, even temporarily. 

Unsecured scaffolding

Scaffolding needs to be properly secured to ensure that it is well-balanced and stationary. Even slight movements of equipment could cause workers to lose their balance when they're working up high on scaffolds. 

Ideally, you should use multiple pieces of brace retention and locking hardware to prevent scaffold components from becoming loose or dislodged as work progresses. 

Lack of proper maintenance

If you're renting scaffolding equipment for an extended period of time, you'll want to perform routine maintenance on it during the rental period.

Routine maintenance should include inspecting scaffolds to make sure that all hardware remains in place. Also, maintenance should include cleaning off scaffolding and making sure that no debris or clutter has accumulated on its surfaces. 

Inadequate training among staff

It's essential that all of your staff members who must use scaffolding are adequately trained in safety procedures. 

Staff members should be trained on how to get on and off of scaffolding. They should also be trained regarding how to properly assemble and take down scaffolding. Another essential aspect of scaffold use staff members should be trained on is what the weight capacities of various pieces of scaffolding equipment are.

Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Staff members should wear PPE while they're working on scaffolds. PPE should include non-slip footwear, gloves, and helmets. Also, harnesses should be worn by workers on scaffolds if the scaffolds are significantly elevated above the ground.