The following scaffolding safety tips focus on the prevention of accidents at work on and near scaffolding after erection. Detailed information on safely erecting scaffolding can be found at hse.org.uk and citbni.org.uk.
Scaffolding safety tips: Preparation
Before working on scaffolding, make sure that you are trained in all aspects of the required task, including:
- Safe working practices
- Working at height
- Working in confined spaces
- Use of tools, machinery and fall protection equipment
- Safe manual handling
- Emergency procedures
Before accessing scaffolding, inspect it to ensure it is level, properly secured, and has guardrails installed. This is applicable to the top, middle and bottom rails for scaffolding over 10 feet high.
Check ground conditions and keep well clear of hazards like surface elevation changes, obstructions and overhead wires.
Scaffolding safety tips: Access and protective equipment
Always use appropriate, securely attached ladders, which must be angled to access scaffolding.
To prevent injuries at work by collapsing scaffolding, never exceed the scaffolding load capacity. Always wear fall protection and other necessary personal protective equipment, which should include non-slip foot wear and head protection. Goggles, gloves and dust masks may also be required.
Scaffolding safety tips: At work
Prevent slips, trips and falls from height, injuries by electrocution, fires and explosions and other scaffolding accidents by always:
- Ensuring adequate lighting is available
- Storing materials, tools and cables orderly and out of the way
- Placing waste material and debris into suitable containers or immediately disposing of them into skips via suitable chutes
- Keeping access routes clear
- Immediately clearing up spills
- Treating all cables as live until officially informed otherwise
- Ensuring all electrical equipment is safety tested, free of damage, used with the correct voltage supply and according to instructions
- Maintaining your balance by never over-reaching or making sudden movements
- Reporting potential hazards immediately
Prevent others from being injured by falling objects by keeping an eye out for workers or visitors below you and avoiding dropping or kicking anything off the scaffolding.
Working near scaffolding
When working near or below scaffolding, always wear head protection, look out for slip, trip or fall hazards and keep an eye out above you to avoid being struck by falling objects.
When accidents happen
Construction site accidents involving scaffolding can and will happen for all kinds of reasons. If you were hurt in a work accident for which someone else was responsible, you could be entitled to industrial injury compensation.
Contact us, Accident Advice Helpline, via our website or by calling 0800 689 0500, or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile, now to learn more.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice