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Common Hazards When Working on Scaffolding

Scaffolding is a staple for many commercial and residential job sites that require consistent aerial access. Though access scaffolding is necessary for most projects, there are several hazards and safety risks that site personnel need to be aware of. Knowing the common hazards when working on scaffolding is crucial for ensuring optimal safety and productivity. As leading providers of quality scaffolding rentals and scaffolding tools, the team at United Scaffold Supply understands the importance of hazard awareness and safety. That is why our team has compiled a list of the most prevalent hazards and safety risks encountered on most job sites.

What fall protection is required when working on scaffolding?

Scaffolding Hazards and Safety Risks

While convenient to use, scaffolds can pose serious risks if proper precautions are not taken. The following are some of the most common scaffolding hazards:

Tools, Debris, and Materials

Site personnel frequently handle tools and materials while working on scaffolding. If tools are unsecured or left lying around, they can pose a tripping hazard or fall on other employees, causing severe injuries. Materials such as wood, pipe, nails, or metal can also fall and cause injury, so these should be stored in a safe location and placed on a stable platform.

A Lack of Fall Prevention/Protection

PPE, fall arrest systems, and guard rails are all a crucial part of scaffolding safety. The absence of even one of these items can result in severe injuries due to falls. Prior to operation, personnel must be trained in proper usage of fall protection equipment to minimize the risk of falls.

Poorly Assembled or Damaged Scaffolding

Before assembly, all scaffolding components should be thoroughly inspected to ensure that they are free of flaws or damage. Damaged parts can significantly reduce the capacity and stability of a scaffolding system and may even lead to a collapse. Even if all components are in pristine condition, the scaffolding system must be properly assembled to minimize the risk of damage or collapse.

Improper Operation

Untrained employees and improper operation are two of the leading causes of injury and scaffolding damage. Before working on an access scaffolding system, employees need to be trained in fall protection and safe operating practices. Safety standards and knowledge should also be maintained and checked throughout the project to ensure consistency.

Overhead or Nearby Electrical Wires

A hazard that many personnel overlook when working at heights is the threat of live power wires and electrical cables. If workers make contact with these wires during operation, they may suffer an electric shock. A minimum of 10 ft should be maintained between scaffolding and potential electrical hazards to minimize the risk of contact.

To learn more about scaffolding safety, sales, and rentals, get in touch with the experts at United Scaffold Supply. Our team can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to assist you.