7 Tips for Using Scaffolding Safely

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The construction industry is a large and important one in the United States. The problem is that it can be dangerous for the people who work on construction sites. It has been estimated that there are nearly 4,500 injuries every year that are related to the use of scaffolding and ladders. Falls from scaffolding rentals claim the lives of about 50 people every year. This is the reason that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed strict rules and regulations for fall protection. It is possible to safely use ladder scaffolding, however. These tips can help.

  1. Make a plan. When you know you need to use scaffolding and ladders, you need to make a comprehensive plan. Do you have the scaffolding and ladders that you will need or are you going to need to turn to ladder and scaffolding rentals? Look at the space and evaluate any issues you may have. If your job is outside, you may have to contend with hills, trees or power lines. The more you plan out the job, the safer it will be. They say, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” This is very true for comstruction projects and safety.
  2. Get the right equipment rentals. Most construction companies do not have scaffolding and ladders for every kind of job that they may take and they turn to scaffolding rentals. Knowing what you will need when you start your job will make a big difference. You have a lot of options when it comes to scaffolding rentals so you need to work with the rental company to get the right scaffolding and ladders for the project you are doing. Many companies will provide a checklist for the proper assembly of the scaffolding.
  3. Make sure you have the right safety equipment. OSHA requires any jobs that have scaffolding also have the right guardrails, cross braces, midrails and toe boards whenever a piece of scaffolding will be set at 10 feet or above. If your workers are going to be working at this height, you also need to provide fall protection and prevention equipment such as harnesses.
  4. Provide the correct training. All workers who are going to be performing their job on scaffolding rentals need to be trained on the safety equipment. None of the safety measures you take or the equipment that is provided will be worth anything if you do not provide the appropriate training for your people. It is also a requirement set down by OSHA.
  5. Have experts onsite. When you have scaffolding rentals, you need to also have a competent expert on your job site to oversee the construction and take down of your scaffolding. If your scaffolding will be 125 feet or higher, you need to hire a professional engineer to oversee the erection of the scaffolding. By hiring professionals to help with the scaffolding, you can prevent a number of problems and make your job site a lot safer for everyone. The company that provides your scaffolding rentals can help you find the right people for this work.
  6. Do not cut corners with your scaffolding. There may be a temptation to cut corners in a lot of areas. As bad as this can be for many construction jobs, taking shortcuts with scaffolding can be deadly. The higher up you have the scaffolding, the more easy it can be for it to tip over. It is very important to secure your scaffolding to the structure. This is another reason it is so crucial to have an expert oversee the erection of your scaffolding. They can make it as safe as possible for your workers who will be using it to do their jobs.
  7. Pay attention to the scaffolding. This is not something you put up and leave be. You need to have your workers inspect it before and after every shift. Things move. As your workers walk on the scaffolding, it may move and shift in place. Having someone look over the scaffolding on a regular basis can help you identify any problem areas before they lead to accidents and injuries.

Using ladders and scaffolding is an essential part of many construction jobs. These tips can keep your workers safe.

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