Health & Safety Guidelines For Scaffold Users

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Some might call it a hassle, but the fact of the matter is that health and safety regulations are there to protect all of us. We will look at some of these as a safety should really be a priority. If your job may require you to use a scaffold in order to carry out certain job functions, before commencing work, make sure you are familiar with the safe working guidelines for using scaffolding hire.
Users of scaffolding should be aware of the general use specifications and adhere to them at all times. Some of the more common hazards created by users are summarised below as important guidelines for use. These guidelines are not exhaustive and individual organisations should assess the risk associated with the use of scaffolding hire as it pertains to the job and work environment and ensure their employees are adequately trained and competent to use scaffolding in a safe manner.
  • Do not work on scaffolding until you have been properly inducted in its use and assessed as competent.
  •  Do not work on scaffolding until it has been inspected for your shift and is tagged as “Approved Ready to Use”.
  •  Always inspect (visual inspection) scaffold before use. Check for missing parts, ensure ladder access, full planking, guardrails and ties are in place. Check foundations for subsidence. Ensure the scaffold is plumb, rigid and square.
  •  Do not work on scaffolding if you notice any components which are damaged. Report damaged scaffold components immediately.
  •  Use only scaffolds that are correctly shored ie plumb, square and rigid.
  •  Do not work on scaffolding in inclement weather ie wet, raining, excessive wind or lightning. Assess climatic and environmental conditions before commencing work.
  •  Do not work on ice or snow covered platforms.
  •  Do not abuse or misuse scaffold equipment.  Only use equipment the way it was intended.
  •  Keep all equipment in good repair.
  •  Do not use a scaffold unless a proper ladder or other equivalent safe means of access has been provided.
  •  Enter scaffolds by the safe means of access. Never climb guardrails or the scaffold itself.
  •  Do not climb on braces.
  •  Do not use a scaffold if the working platform is not planked all the way across. Do not use the scaffold if there is only one or two planks where there should be more.
  •  Do not use a scaffold if the planks are not scaffold grade. Scaffold grade planks will be clearly and legibly stamped with the weight bearing load and Standard conformance number.
  •  Do not use a scaffold if the planks are bowing.
  •  Do not work on a scaffold if you feel weak, sick or dizzy or are taking medication that causes drowsiness or impairs reflexes. Never use drugs or alcohol on a scaffold.
  •  Always wear the correct PPE for the job and worksite. If you are unsure of the correct PPE – see your supervisor before commencing work.
  •  Use both hands when climbing onto scaffold platforms. Use the designated ladder and maintain a firm grip whilst climbing. Do not carry materials as you climb. Keep both hands on the side rails.
  •  Do not jump onto planks or platforms.
  •  Do not stack materials higher than guardrail mesh or toeboard.
  •  Do not overload the platform by more than its intended uniform loading.
  •  Do not overload the scaffold by point loading a plank above its capacity.
  •  Do not overload a platform by point loading a tube above its capacity.
  •  Do not bridge between two scaffolds by stages.
  •  Do not use the scaffold unless proper falling object protection for the users and workers below has been provided.
  •  Do not allow tools, materials or debris to accumulate on scaffold platforms and cause a hazard.
  •  Stand on platform only – not on guardrails, extra ladders, trestles, boxes etc to increase height.
  •  Do not use platform brackets/hop ups without conducting a risk assessment of the overturning effect on the scaffold structure.
  •  Platform bracket/hop ups are for personnel only. NOT material storage.
  •  Do not alter the scaffold. Certified scaffolders may only perform scaffold alterations.
  •  Do not use heat producing activities such as welding or insulation removal without taking precautions to protect the scaffold members.
  •  Do not use a scaffold as a material hoist tower or for the mounting of derricks unless the scaffold is designed for such use.