Scaffolding is one of the most popular types of equipment in the construction industry. It’s been around in some form for many thousands of years. It’s basically a temporary structure that allows workers to access areas above ground level. It’s very useful when constructing a new building or trying to perform tasks such as painting. But don’t let the relative simplicity of the concept trick you, scaffolding is actually very complex and using it in the wrong way can have serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know about scaffolding.
Managing scaffolding risks
The primary focus when using scaffolding is that the health and safety of workers must be protected. This equipment can come with some serious dangers when it comes to people’s personal safety. There is a great fall risk with when it comes to scaffolding and there’s also a danger that items might fall from structures and injure them. For this reason, it is essential that risks are managed. To manage risks, managers should follow some of the steps below.
In order to protect people, the appropriate risk management strategies need to be put in place. In order to work out what needs to happen, companies need to identify what risks and hazards may impact their workers when working on scaffolding. To figure out what risks are present, companies need to look at the physical space around the potential structure and work out how it is likely to interact with the environment. Is there a risk to pedestrians walking past? Could items fall on vehicles, people or other structures? Is the ground uneven? Is it possible that the structure might fall or collapse? A company should also review how the scaffolding needs to function in order to work out what type they need to install – using an improper type of equipment could be dangerous. People will also need to perform frequent inspections after the equipment has been erected in order to ensure that no issues have come up and that there is not risk of collapse. Any past incidents will also need to be reviewed in order to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated with the equipment.
Once you have identified any risks, you’ll need to make a risk assessment. This means figuring out how serious these risks actually are and whether they can be controlled. If a situation is thought to be too risky then it will be considered too dangerous to go ahead with performing any work or erecting the structure.
As stipulated by Australian work health and safety law, businesses that undertake any kind of activity around this equipment, are required by law to ensure they take measures to control risk. This means they must do everything practicable that they can to avoid injuries or safety issues from impacting their workers. Whilst not every problem can be avoided, workplaces must do their best to protect their employees. Failing to do this could lead to legal action and serious consequences.
Once you have assessed and controlled any risks, you will need to perform a final review to ensure that everything is working the way that it should. Your review needs to also take any changes in the working environment into account to ensure that new risks have arisen.
There are stringent safety rules and regulations that must be followed in Australian. With the proper licensing and certifications from workers often being required in order to use this equipment. Make sure your business adheres to all the requirements otherwise you could find yourself facing some serious problems or dealing with injury.