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Construction Site Health and Safety - Scaffolding

Many structures which are being constructed will require a scaffold to be erected so that work can be undertaken higher up on the structure. This scaffolding needs to be able to support the weight of those persons working, as well as that of other items such as tools, bricks etc. There are a number of health and safety issues which require consideration when scaffolding needs to be used on a construction site, in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

Perhaps the most obvious danger is the risk of collapse. Scaffolding needs to be erected correctly to ensure that it can support the weight of the people and objects on it. If it collapses, it is likely to cause severe injury or death to those working on it and anybody who happens to be underneath at the time of collapse.

Another serious danger is the risk of falling from height. This can include both a person who falls from the scaffolding, or an item such as a tool or brick which falls below and strikes a person. Depending upon the weight of the object in question, this can cause severe head injuries or death.

The weather also poses a danger to those working on scaffolding. Being metal, the structure itself can attract lightning, particularly if it is a tall scaffolding which is high off the ground and acting as a conductor. This could kill or cause serious burns to anyone in contact with the metal when it is hit. Strong winds can blow people or objects off the scaffold, leading to the falling from height issues talked about in the paragraph above. Also, rain can make the scaffold wet and slippery which can lead to workers slipping and falling. Not only could they hurt themselves in the fall, if they are carrying a heavy load such as a power tool at the same time then this can cause injury.

By combining a mix of common sense and information learnt on health and safety courses, workers can stay safe during the construction, use of, and dismantling of scaffolding. They may also be able to make use of alternatives such as elevated work platforms.



Other health and safety courses which may be of interest include:


  • NEBOSH Construction Certificate
  • Site Management Safety Training Scheme - SMSTS
  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme - SSSTS
  • Manual Handling Training
  • Risk Assessment
  • Permit to Work Training



Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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