By and large most scaffoldings are safe and secure structures that allow DIY workers, sole contractors and construction teams alike the chance to execute their task to perfection.
Offering a mixture of safety and precision and providing an ideal setting for movement, each participant should be empowered to do their work without fear of interference or failure.
However, there are some dubious manufacturers and suppliers who place their safety at risk, as well as those workers who do not engage in their due diligence.
We will take stock of key examples where professionals and amateurs alike are placed in harms way when this negligence is present.
Low Weight Loading Parameters
Scaffoldings are inherently dangerous when workers and operators don’t apply their due diligence to the weight loading parameters. These items should be packaged with the criteria transparently published to avoid any confusion. From small numbers and loads that cannot surpass 500kg to other structures capable of exceeding 2500kg, each individual needs to ensure they are not overloading the design with extra manpower, tools or materials. This is where the item can buckle under pressure and a collapse could ensue.
No Thorough Inspection Checks
An inspection check of scaffoldings should be part and parcel of any development project and is considered the icing on the cake of best practice. Ideally carried out by an independent arbiter, this is an exercise that ensures all the key factors are ticked off before progress can be obtained. Inspection checks are mandatory in professional fields and have to be signed off on official documentation, but it is a process of diligence that should also be applied to amateurs who are painting, cleaning or fixing on their property as well. This is a phase where the worker cannot blame their tools.
Small details matter when it comes to the erection and development of scaffoldings. Clips, couplers, screws, ledgers, braces and transoms all have their unique role to play for specialists, contractors and DIY operators respectively. Then there are more obvious elements that are brought into play, including the guardrails and decks that are designed to support and protect individuals. Participants are placed in danger when they overlook the necessity of these items or have been sold short by the supplier.
Harsh Weather Conditions
Floods, severe rain, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, high winds and even extreme heat can all play a part when it comes to the safety that scaffoldings provide. The top materials will offer the right level of guarantees for participants who don’t want to be adversely impacted by external weather conditions, but less then reliable suppliers won’t meet those key standards. This is where the base needs to remain secure without any uneven surface playing a role, ensuring that the onset of harsh weather does not compromise the integrity of the materials.
Low Grade Materials
Participants are placed in danger when they invest in scaffoldings that are cheaply manufactured with the aid of low grade materials. Whilst certified and respected domestic suppliers will tick all of the right boxes in this domain, some developers will sell their customers short. Sometimes this can be the fault of the consumer as they hunt down a bargain at any cost – often at their own expense and to their own detriment. The best materials for all manner of small and large projects are steel and aluminium, but there are fiber, timber and prefabricated brands that can still get the job done if they are manufactured correctly.
It is fundamental that all consumers who utilise scaffoldings secure their investment from a trusted and certified supplier. Basic mistakes create occupational health and safety concerns and they can be easily fixed with a degree of diligence and commonsense in most settings.