Scaffoldings are regularly required in many industries for a variety of purposes but it is classed as high risk equipment and there are a number of rules and responsibilities that companies adhere to when using the equipment.
When it comes to anything where a safety risk is involved it is always important to understand where the danger comes from and what to look out for.
Not only is it important to be aware of hazards but it is also important to understand hazard prevention and what to do in risky situations.
If you want to keep informed and find out what the common hazards to look out for are then continue reading to find out more.
The high risk nature of scaffoldings equipment means that there are some common safety problems experienced on work sites. Poor safety around high risk equipment can be fatal or seriously injure employees so it is essential that employers take safety seriously and are aware of any potential issues.
Common hazards reported by employees include;
- Falls from equipment
- The collapse of scaffoldings (usually a result of too much weight on the equipment or poor stabilisation)
- Falling materials
- Electrocution from power lines or exposed electrical lines
- Heavy equipment crushing employees
All of the most commonly reported hazards and safety issues should not happen with the proper occupation health and safety procedures in place and are usually the result of poor worksite safety practices and missing safety equipment.
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment to their employees and to do everything within their power to avoid potentially dangerous situation.
Preventing safety issues
Having prevention strategies to manage common scaffoldings safety issues is essential. There are a number of important steps and processes that employers and employees can follow to ensure a safe working environment.
Every worksite is different, so before scaffoldings equipment is erected or used by any employees it is essential that a thorough inspection of the worksite and equipment is carried out to identify any potential issues.
Hazards should be documented and safety plans and prevention actions put in place where possible. If they site is found to be unsuitable then work should not commence. All employees should be made aware and trained in the correct safety processes.
Inductions, training and licenses are a legal requirement when it comes to working around scaffoldings equipment. Employers have an obligation to ensure that all of the employees working around high risk equipment are properly licensed to do so, and employees must ensure that they keep up with regular training requirements and licensing renewals.
Occupational health and safety laws require that certain safety features be installed with scaffoldings equipment, such as guardrails at certain heights, safety nets, barricades, cross bracing and tipping restraints. Employees must wear personal protection equipment and uniform.
The guidelines vary based on the worksite and the height or specifications of the equipment, so it’s important to read up and ensure you are up to safety standards for you particular circumstances.
When the worst does happen and an accident happens onsite it is important that a emergency response plan is in place, all employees should know who to call in an emergency situation and how to respond or avoid putting themselves in further danger.
Scaffoldings are responsible for hundreds of deaths across Australian worksites every year. Whilst it is important and essential equipment it is also high risk and involves employees working at heights and at significant risk of fall or injury from falling equipment or collapsing structures.