Hi, Do you want to know the scaffolding hazards and control measures and what is scaffolding definition? The 10-main scaffolding hazards and control measures have been addressed in this article which can help in the safe using scaffolding structures.
What is Scaffolding Definition
Scaffolding is a temporary elevated platform. It’s a supporting structure used to hold employees and materials or both. It is used for new construction projects, plant maintenance, and repair work.
Always ensure that scaffolding erection and dismantle work is taken place by competent and authorized personnel under close supervision of the concerned supervisor. Every scaffolding should have an inspection tag to identify whether the scaffolding structure has been inspected by a competent person or not. Do not use uninspected scaffolding structures.
10 Most Common Scaffolding Hazards And Control Measures.
There are several hazards associated with scaffolding. But the 10- most common hazards associated with scaffolding structures are as follows;
- Erection and dismantling of scaffolding by untrained personnel.
- Use of faulty, damaged, or unsuitable scaffolding materials.
- Overloading of scaffolding platforms.
- Unsecured planks.
- Lack of guardrails.
- Overhead electrical power lines.
- Unsecured access ladders.
- Climbing on scaffolding with short-cut means.
- Uninspected scaffolding.
- Non-compliance with PPEs by scaffolding users.
1. Erection and dismantling of scaffolding by untrained personnel
Scaffolding erecting and dismantling by untrained personnel can pose a high risk of accidents and injuries. They can endanger themselves and other scaffolding users by erecting scaffolding in unsafe conditions, such as missing guardrails, toe boards, unsecured planks, improper bracing, and not wearing fall protection while erecting and dismantling the scaffolding structure. This can lead to personal falls from height and scaffolding collapse.
- Only a third-party trained scaffolder must be deployed for commencing the scaffolding erecting, dismantling, and modification.
- Competency certificates of scaffolders must be available at the workplace.
- Scaffolding activity must be carried out under the close supervision of a competent scaffolding supervisor.
2. Use of faulty, damaged, or unsuitable scaffolding materials
Scaffolding erection with faulty, damaged, or unsuitable materials can cause the scaffolding to collapse, leading to serious personnel injuries or even fatalities. Scaffolding materials must be inspected regularly to ensure the stability of the scaffolding structure. Do not use faulty, damaged, or unsuitable materials for scaffolding erection, as they can cause scaffolding collapse at any time.
- Do not erect scaffolding with faulty, damaged, or unsuitable scaffolding materials.
- Inspect scaffolding materials before erecting the scaffolding structure.
- Regular inspection of the scaffolding structure should be done to ensure scaffolding components are in sound condition.
3. Overloading of scaffolding platforms
Overloading is one of the most common causes of scaffolding collapse, which can lead to serious personnel injury and property damage. Placing excessive weight on a scaffolding platform can also damage the scaffolding components. If scaffolding is being used for supporting any expensive items, the excess load can be caused to damage both scaffoldings and materials being supported by that scaffolding.
- Avoid excessive load on scaffolding.
- Do not place the load on the scaffolding more than SWL.
- Follow the instruction of the manufacturer.
- Follow the instruction of the scaffolding inspector written on the scaffolding tag.
4. Unsecured planks
Unsecured scaffolding planks can slip and break, which can cause men and materials to fall and result in accidents and injuries. The legs of working crews can also be trapped through unsecured planks if planks slip and make the opening in the scaffolding platform.
- All planks used in scaffolding platforms must be adequately secured to avoid them from being slipped.
- Before using the scaffolding, Always check it to ensure that there are no loose or unsecured scaffolding components.
- If workers find unsecured planks, they must inform the concerned supervisor for repair work.
- Scaffolding planks should be in sound condition.
5. Lack of guardrail system
Lack of guardrails system, such as missing top rails, mid rails, and toe boards on the scaffolding platforms, can pose a high risk of falling from height for the scaffolding users. People can fall through the unprotected edge of scaffolding platforms which can cause serious personal injury or even death.
- Scaffolding platforms should have a proper guardrails system, such as top rails, mid rails, and toe boards.
- Top rails, mid rails, and toe boards must be fixed at standard height.
- All working at-height platforms must be equipped with edge protection.
6. Overhead electrical electric power lines
Contact with live overhead electric power lines can be deadly. This can put the workers at high risk of electrocution. Scaffolding electrical hazards include failure to observe a safe distance from overhead electrical power lines, Especially when increasing the heights of scaffolding nearby live overhead live power lines.
- Do the visual inspection of scaffolding erecting areas to ensure, There are no overhead obstructions and electric power lines.
- Maintain a safe distance between the scaffolding structure and overhead power electric wires.
- Ensure close supervision during the erection of scaffolding nearby overhead electric power lines.
7. Unsecured access ladders
An unsecured access ladder of a scaffolding platform can cause it to fall off with its users while using the unsecured ladder. Workers may slip and fall while climbing up and down by using an unsecured access ladder. This can result in unwanted personal injuries. If someone Falls along with a ladder can be severe as it may cause serious personnel injuries.
- Do not use ladders in unsecured conditions.
- Access ladders must be secured at both the top and bottom sides of the ladders.
- Access ladders shall be fixed at a 75-degree angle and must be extended 1 meter above the working or landing platform.
8. Climbing on scaffolding with short-cut means
Using short-cut means for climbing up and down a scaffolding platform rather than using appropriate access means like an access ladder can pose a high potential risk of causing severe personal injury to the workers. This unsafe act can not be accepted because it can lead to workers falling from height and result in serious personal injury.
- Do not use short-cut access for climbing up and down scaffolding in any circumstances.
- Always provide and use a proper and safe means of access, such as access ladders to climb up and down the scaffolding.
- Ensure close supervision.
9. Uninspected scaffolding
Uninspected scaffolding platforms might be in an unsafe condition, such as an unprotected edge, missing toe boards, unsecured planks & access ladder, improper bracing, and faulty or unsuitable scaffolding materials, which can pose a high potential risk of falling from the scaffolding platform or scaffolding collapse.
Inspection of scaffolding by a competent person shows its condition. It is recommended that only green-tagged scaffolding structures must be used because the scaffolding platform with green tags confirms that it is complete and safe to use.
- Before use, the scaffolding structure must be inspected by a competent person.
- Scaffolding should have a valid inspection tag. And it must be updated every week by a competent scaffolding inspector.
- Only green-tagged scaffolding must be used by work crews.
- Validity of the scaffolding tag shall be a maximum of 7 days, hence do not work on the scaffolding whose inspection tag has expired.
10. Non-compliance with PPEs by scaffolding users
It is well known that personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense, so if someone is working on scaffolding without compliance with the required PPE, such as full body harness, safety helmet with chin strip, anti-slip safety shoes, safety glass, appropriate types of hand gloves, and protective items of clothing, can cause accidents and injuries.
- Task operatives must wear their full-body harnesses while they work at or above the 1.8-meter height of scaffolding.
- Workers should tie off their harnesses with proper anchoring points.
- All mandatory PPEs, such as a safety helmet with chin strip, anti-slip safety shoes, safety glass, appropriate types of hand gloves, and protective dress must be worn by working crews.
- Regular inspection of PPEs must be done to find out defective PPEs.
Scaffolding poses a high risk of falling from height and causes serious injuries or fatalities. All scaffolding users should be aware of scaffolding hazards and control measures before they work on scaffolding. Both scaffolding erectors and users must be trained in working at height training courses. Always comply with the safe system of work while using scaffolding structures.
Q1. What is Scaffolding Definition?
Ans. A scaffolding is any temporary, elevated platform. It’s a supporting structure used to hold employees and materials or both. It is used for construction projects, plant maintenance, and repair work.
Q2. What Angle is Safe to Install The Access Ladder?
Ans. Access ladders must be installed at a 75-degree angle. The access ladder shall be secured at both ends top of the ladder.