Depending on your industry, you may use scaffolding almost every day of the week. For example, this is common on construction sites.
While it is clearly essential to use scaffolding under many circumstances, since it can sometimes make your job easier and safer, it's important to keep your safety in mind at all times.
A scaffolding accident has the potential to cause serious injury or death, so you should never lose sight of the steps you can take to improve your safety. Here are several things to keep in mind any time you are setting up or using scaffolding:
- Follow all manufacturer recommended procedures
- Never use scaffolding that is defective
- Lock the wheels any time the scaffolding is in use
- Don't overload the scaffolding, either with people or tools
- Keep tools and other objects away from the edge, to prevent them from falling to the ground below
- Wear the proper footwear when working on scaffolding, to prevent a slip-and-fall accident
- Remove all items at the end of the workday
- Don't place scaffolding in an area where it may be struck by a motor vehicle
- Be sure that there is a minimum of 10 feet between the scaffolding and any power lines
- Don't move scaffolding when it is in use
- Don't alter scaffolding in any way
- Don't work on scaffolding in inclement weather, such as strong wind or heavy rain
- Don't use a ladder on top of scaffolding as a means of increasing height
Even though your employer may have its own set of scaffolding safety guidelines, you need to do what you feel is best. This could include avoiding the use of this equipment until safety problems that have come up are corrected. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to using construction equipment.
If you're part of a scaffolding accident, such as one in which you fall to the ground below, you'll likely need to obtain immediate medical treatment. You should also report the incident to your employer, so they know exactly what went wrong.
As you recover, don't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights, including those regarding workers' compensation.