Although scaffolding is a common feature on most building sites, accidents involving them are just as common as they present a variety of hazards. Every year around 60 construction workers are fatally injured after falling from scaffolding which is why these hazards need to be managed in order to avoid injury and death.
One of the most common hazards involved with scaffolding work is moving scaffold components, scaffold failure related to damaged components, loss of the load, being struck by suspended materials, electrical shock and the wrong setup of scaffolding.
Construction workers who assemble and dismantle scaffolding and work platforms at construction sites face the risk of serious injuries or even death due to the falls sustained.
Important Guidelines to remember:
- Safety harness systems regardless how helpful, cannot be the only form of control for this hazard. It does provide assistance but should not be the only one.
- All scaffolding should be fitted with guardrails.
- PPE including hard hats should be worn to protect against falling objects at all times.
- Mesh, screens, intermediate vertical members or solid panels should be used to safeguard employees and the public at lower levels
- Workers on suspended scaffolds must use a fall arrest system as protection against the failure of the scaffold or its components.
- Fall protection effectiveness is only as good as its anchorage, so ensure that harnesses are correctly and safety anchored.