Scaffold Safety

Scaffolding isn’t just put up by anyone, it’s erected by people trained to do it professionally and then thoroughly inspected. Scaffolding changes frequently, so here’s a few do’s and don’ts.

Always check the inspection tag. It’s located on the ladder of the entrance and any other point of entry. Check to make sure the inspection is up to date. A red tag is unsafe for use, do not enter under any circumstance. If it’s missing this tag, don’t use the scaffold and tell your foreman. A yellow tag will tell you everything you need to know. The last time it was inspected, by whom, when it expires, the duty rating, and any risk factors to watch out for.

Make sure to never climb the ladder with your hands or pockets full of tools. You’re more likely to fall if you don’t have 3 points of contact on the ladder which is impossible with a mit full of tools. Putting something in your pocket may seem like a good idea, till it falls out (which it will) and hits the person below you. Always use a tool hoist to bring tools up and back down. Make sure not to leave them on the scaffolding.

Scaffolding is not a jungle gym, so don’t treat it like one. The fixed ladder is for climbing and nothing else. So climbing the railings is unacceptable. You’re not a monkey. Follow the rules.

Modifications should be left to the professionals. Sometimes a scaffold tube is way too close to the weld you have to do or the tubing you need to run, whatever the reason may be, you cannot do the modification. Talk to your foreman, he/she will get in touch with the scaffolders so they can do it correctly. This isn’t the easiest or quickest process, so really make sure you can’t do the task at hand without the mod. This is why they have mirrors for welding.

Always make sure the platform is safe. Even if the tag says everything looks good, there could be hazards to watch out for. Mud, ice, snow and debris. If you need to shovel a deck then do so, do what you need to make it safe for you and your co-workers. Your safety is up to you, don’t monkey around.

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