The Dos And Don'ts Of Commercial Scaffolding Safety

by For Content

If you will be working with commercial scaffolding for the first time on your next building project, then here are some dos and don'ts to help you work safely:

Do Use Climbing Ladders

When workers are climbing up the scaffolding, they should only climb on the designated climbing ladders. This is the only safe way to climb, both for the worker and the scaffolding.

Don't Climb on Braces

Workers should never climb on the scaffolding braces when moving between the working levels. This can put an excessive load on the braces and cause them to bend and prematurely fail.

Do Install Overhead Mesh Canopies

It is important for worker safety that you install overhead canopies in any area where building materials or tools could be dropped onto workers below. Canopies are available in wire-mesh and canvas. 

Don't Let Workers Access Areas with Active Overhead Work

Whenever possible, you should close access to areas that have active overhead work. While canopies have an important job, it is always best to schedule work so that you do not have workers on multiple layers of the scaffolding simultaneously. By simply restricting access, you can greatly lower the chance of injury. 

Do Install Metal Decking for Work Levels

When buying or renting scaffolding materials, you should always opt for metal decking materials if at all possible. If metal is not available, then you should install only scaffold-grade wood planks.

Don't Put Weight on Scaffolding Without Inspecting It First

You should never put your weight onto scaffolding without first inspecting it for any damage. You should check the footers, building attachment, braces, and all of the work levels for any damage. If you are using wood decking, it is vital to inspect the wood planks daily for any signs of wear, such as cracking or discoloration of the wood.

Do Completely Brace All Necessary Joints

Even if the scaffolding feels secure without them, it is vital that you secure all of the joints with braces. Leaving out any of the brace poles can result in failure of the scaffolding and serious injury or death for workers.

Don't Ever Take Any Chances with Safety

Finally, working with scaffolding is inherently dangerous for workers. You should never take any chances when it comes to safety. Ensure your building's scaffolding is professionally installed, and do not let anyone remove any parts or make any structural changes to it. If you discover any damage, immediately replace the broken parts, or close the scaffolding and call for a repair.