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