What is a scaffold?
Scaffolds are widely used on site to get access to heights and areas that would be otherwise hard to get to.
Scaffolds should provide use with safe platform to work from. Unsafe scaffolding has the potential to result in death or serious injury to those working from the scaffold or around areas where scaffolding is being used. lets discuses about Scaffolding instruction learning education.
Hazards from unsafe scaffolding include
To ensure that scaffolds built in the workplace are safe they must be:
- Designed and engineered to make sure they will be safe and right for the job.
- Built by trained certified scaffolders with adequate direct supervision to ensure it complies and safe with the scaffolds design specifications.
- Tagged/Signposted scaffolds that are being constructed should be tagged/signposted e.g “Scaffold Incomplete – DO NOT USE” until they have been inspected and cleared for work.
Alternations to Scaffolds
- When scaffolds need to be modified to enable the job to get done eg removal of kickboards or mid rails to enable welding or painting, the modifications must not make the scaffold unsafe.
- Should you require the scaffold that you are working on to be modified or altered, speak to your Supervisor who will arrange for ticketed scaffolder to make the alternation, or contact one of the scaffolders yourself.
- Always make sure that where modifications are made, that the scaffold is returned to its original condition at the end of the job.
- To assist in identifying unsafe scaffolding, all scaffolds that are in use are inspected by certified scaffolders every 7 days.
- Scaffolding inspections have identified many unsafe situations that have occurred due to unauthorised alterations and modifications to scaffolds that have not been fixed after the job is done.
Learning Safe Use of Scaffolding education
- To protect your health and safety and your fellow workmates:
- Housekeeping, work platforms must be kept free of debris, scrap and access ways need to be kept clear.
- Access use the correct means of access for the scaffolds, if no proper access exists don’t use the scaffold.
- Note: Gaining access by climbing under or over handrails is unsafe and should not be attempted.
- Accidental damage report any accidental damage to your supervisor so it can be fixed and does not become a risk to anyone else.
- Modification should the removal of ties, stabilising devices, platform planks, guardrails, kickboards, ladders or any other structural item, contact your supervisor or a certified scaffolder.
- Mobile Scaffolds wheels and castors must be applied/locked to prevent movement of the scaffold when in use. Mobile scaffolds should be used on hard and even surfaces, adjustable legs should be used to keep the scaffold position level.
Note: Never attempt to move the mobile scaffold with personnel on it.
- Scaffolds Under Construction access to scaffolds that are being built should not be used. Scaffolds that are being built should be sufficiently signposted, and the signs removed only once it has been inspected and approved by the scaffolding supervisor.
Working from Scaffolding instruction
When working from scaffolding it is important that:
- That you keep your body inside the scaffold.
- Always face ladders when ascending or descending.
- Ropes should be used to raise and lower equipmentbetween decks, so both hands can be used when climbing the ladder.
- Never attempt to gain extra height from decks by using improvised platform, step ladders, upturned rubbish bins etc. Gaining extra height may render the hand rails ineffective.
When working in or around scaffolding make sure you wear your hard hat & follow above scaffolding instruction.
Reporting of Faults/Hazards
If you identify something that is unsafe report it to your Supervisor, who will take whatever action is necessary to fix the problem.