The use of scaffolding for any construction or maintenance job carries with it many safety hazards. The potential end of result of poor scaffolding safety could be life altering injuries or even death. Planning your scaffolding safety must not simply cover its use but also consider the erection and dismantling of it.
Under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 unless the scaffolding is built to a standard configuration, a bespoke calculation must be carried out by a competent person. As an absolute minimum, every scaffold gang should have a minimum of one competent person who has received training for the erection, altering and dismantling of scaffolding.
If the location of the scaffolding presents a risk to the public it may be necessary to schedule the build for a quiet time or request a highway closure from the local council.
Once erected, it is the responsibility of both the scaffold hirer and scaffold users to ensure the scaffolding is inspected:
- before first use
- at least every 7 days
- following any event or circumstances which may have affected the scaffolding safety
These inspections can, depending on the project, form part of your workplace and site safety inspections.
One of the biggest risks to scaffolding users is the risk of falling from height. This risk can be managed by using a guard rail system or by users wearing safety harnesses. Users should also consider the working conditions and never use scaffolding in icy, snowy or slippery conditions.