Scaffolding, a temporary platform supported either from above or below (or a combination of both), have many integral roles in various industries, particularly in the construction and commercial cleaning industries. In fact, almost any job that involves working at heights relies on the use of such equipment.
Because scaffolding sets come in various forms, all companies requiring their use should ensure they have the correct type of equipment, an expert from Scaffoldmart.com reminds. Using the wrong kind of scaffold, improperly setting them up, and failure to implement proper safety policies can lead not only to injury-causing accidents but premature deaths as well.
Scaffolding that Meets OSHA Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set standards when it comes to the construction and use of scaffolds. Employers should ensure they use only equipment that meets and satisfy these criteria, designed to provide protection for scaffolders and other employees who work with scaffolds.
Types of Scaffolding Equipment
There are basically three types of scaffolding used for various applications.
First off is the supported scaffold. These are platforms that feature poles, frames, outriggers, and legs as their primary load support. The second type is the suspended scaffold that are platforms suspended from above through the use of ropes and other non-rigid materials. Aerial lifts are the third type. These devices are mounted on vehicles or machines and used to lift workers to a certain height. These include boom trucks, scissor lifts, and cherry pickers.
Safety Protocols for Scaffolding Use
While scaffolds have many crucial uses, their use also account for many accidents, particularly in the construction industry. Hazards associated with scaffolding use include slips, falls, collapsing equipment, overloading, and even electrocution.
Because of the dangers associated with the improper use of scaffolds, employers should make it their priority to implement safety protocols. These policies should include choosing the correct type of scaffold for a certain application, use of critical safety and protection equipment (such as safety rails, guardrails, and fall protection systems), and ensuring that they hire only qualified and competent workers.