California construction sites often have several types of workers completing tasks simultaneously, from welders and electricians to plumbers and carpenters. No matter what your job, if you work on scaffolding, understanding and following the best safety practices can minimize the potential for injury.
According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, most scaffolding dangers involve structural flaws, fall hazards and electrical hazards. Companies should have an Injury & Illness Prevention Program that covers various topics for scaffold safety.
The fabricated modular frame system is the most commonly used scaffolding type on construction sites. Your company’s Code of Safe Practice should include the requirements for its use, erection and dismantling. Everyone who uses the scaffold systems should have training on the correct handling of tools and materials when working on it. You must also know the load ratings and how that can affect the way you complete your duties.
Following the instructions provided by the scaffold manufacturer is critical to safely using scaffold systems. The components must be those for that exact structure and fabricator for it to perform as expected. Substituting one component for another similar but not precise piece could result in the entire unit collapsing.
Guardrails and other types of fall protection can reduce the chances of catastrophic injuries resulting from a fall. However, these are not the only types of safety precautions needed. If the platforms or braces are too close to power sources, electrocution is possible. Considering all hazards and taking corrective action can minimize the risk of injuries.
Tagging system can tell you which structures are safe to use and under what conditions. This helps ensure that you know which tasks you can and cannot complete safely. One or more competent people should have the responsibility of inspecting the scaffolding at least daily, if not more often.
Have you sustained injuries while working on scaffolding that prevents you from working short-term or permanently? Workers’ compensation may help you pay for medical expenses and lost wages.