Working at Heights on Scaffolding
Falls from scaffolds are devastating. All falls from scaffolds can be prevented, no matter what type of scaffold you are using, if you follow a few simple rules.
- Inspect scaffolds before you start to work on them. Make sure the access ladders and guardrails are secured in place. Be sure all work areas are fully planked. If the scaffold does not look level and plumb, stay off it and report to your supervisor. Some sites require a daily inspection tag to be completed.
- When working at a height of 10 feet or more use a guardrail system or be tied off for Fall Protection. If the site has a tighter height rule (like 6 feet) follow it. Even then, there is nothing wrong with being protected at 6’ even if it’s not mandated. What harm will come of it?
- Eliminate trip hazards by keeping scaffold work platforms clear of debris and unnecessary materials, tools and equipment.
- Be aware of slip hazards such as mud, grease or oil, ice snow etc. Check the scaffold ladder, platforms and walkways and check the bottoms of your work shoes or boots. Immediately remove all slip hazards.
- When using a mobile, rolling type of scaffold be sure to lock the caster brakes before you climb aboard. It’s actually part of the WSH Regulation (Part 28.3) Workers have been tossed off scaffolds that didn’t have their wheels locked up, and have been seriously injured as a result.
- Avoid carrying tools, materials and equipment by hand when climbing aboard the scaffold. Pull them up by a rope after you are on the platform.
- If it’s an oddball residential stairway that won’t accept a conventional frame scaffold, we can frame something up to eliminate the use of a ladder and plank.
Scaffolds are our go –to device to get up in the air. We have all the extra equipment needed (guardrail kits, screw jacks, outriggers, walkthrough frames) to make the scaffold safe to use, comply with regulations and make it more productive. If you need a hand in setting it up don’t hesitate to call me to assist with the setup and planning.
Gravity always wins.