Scaffolding Safety – Hazards, Precautions, Types, Components

Today our topic is Scaffolding Safety and we will cover Hazards, what precautions we need to take, ladder safety, Types of scaffold, Components of scaffold, fall prevention.
What is Scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a temporary platform usually build to perform the job on a higher elevation, to avoid falling of person from the height we need to follow scaffolding safety procedures.
Scaffolding Safety
Ratio of Scaffolding:
For mobile scaffold:  1:3 (1 base and 3 height)
For tower scaffold:     1:4 (1 base and 4 height)
Scaffolding Components:
1.      Sole plate
2.      Base plate
3.      Standards
4.      Ledgers
5.      Bracing
6.      Decking
7.      Guard rails (Hand rails and mid-rails) height approximately 1 meter.
8.      Toe board should be minimum 6 inches in height.
9.      Clamps standard: EN-74 and BS-15.
10.  The ladder shall be secure at three locations.

11.  Tags either green or red tag and shall be renewed after one week.

Hazards of scaffolding:
Apart from collapse, the principle hazards are,
1.      Unsecured ladder slipping.
2.      Use of unsuitable, damage and faulty materials.
3.      Inadequately supported scaffold boards.
4.      Omission/removal of guard rails.
5.      Not proper tie-in/braced.
6.      Overloading of platform and board.
General Safety precautions for scaffolding:
1.      A competent third part certified person is allowed for scaffolding job.
2.      Cold work permit is required.
3.      Employees shall be used chin straps, leather gloves and safety harness full time.
4.      Tools and spanners shall be secured with body.
5.      Area shall be barricaded and signs board to be displayed.
6.      Non-sparking tools shall be used in hazardous area.
7.      Materials, clamps shall not drop or through.
8.      Leather bags shall be used for shifting.
9.      While erection and modifications, red tag shall be display on height equal to eye level.
10.  If height exceeding the ratio, additional tie-in with nearby existing structure shall be given.
11.  Job shall be suspended in case of heavy wind more than 65kmph and rain.
12.  Dismantling start from top.
13.  Scaffolding tag shall be renewed after one week and checklist shall be maintained.
14.  Ladder shall be raised at least one meter above landing platform and should be secure at three locations.
15.  Loose materials, clamps shall not be kept unattended on working platform.
16. Risk Assessment is required If Wind speed is More than 50kmph.

17.  Mobile Scaffold Casters (wheel) dia should be 5inch 1(12.7cm) & Swivel lock Required.

18. Gin Wheel (pulley & rope) Should be use for light material lifting.

                
General safety precautions for ladder safety:
1.      Ladder shall be of industrial type.
2.      Use the right type of ladder for the job.
3.      Inspect the ladder for defect and damage before use.
4.      Independent ladder shall be tagged (Validity 1 month).
5.      Ladder shall be positioned at 75* angle.
6.      Ladder shall be secured with clamps at 3 locations.
7.      Only one person shall climb at a time and face the ladder during up and down.
8.      Do not carry tools and materials while climbing.
9.      Metal ladder shall not be used for electrical works.

Types of scaffolding:

Ø  Independent tied scaffolding:
Ø  Light duty
Ø  Medium duty
Ø  Heavy duty
Ø  Tower scaffolding:
Ø  Stationery scaffold: height shall not exceed-18.3 meters(60 feet) and shall not exceed 4 times the minimum base ratio.
Ø  Mobile scaffold: shall not exceed 12.2 meters (40 feet) and ratio 1:3 and consist of castor wheels, single working platform.
Caster wheel shall be minimum 12.7 cm 5-inch diameter with rubber, types, provide with lock and it should be lock while using.
Ø  Cantilever/suspended scaffold: it is used when it is impracticable/impossible to erect standard bearing on the ground or other surfaces. 
Rakers (bottom diagonal one for every standard) shall be use.
The angle of rackers shall be not greater than 35*.
Working at height/fall prevention:
Falls are a leading cause of injury in all level of the workplace. These cause by slipping on the surface, tripping by obstacles and while stepping off an elevated surface.
Ø  Keep workplace free of obstacles and clutter.
Ø  Keep walking surface clean and dry.
Ø  Block/barricade the area while cleaning floors.
Ø  Whip up the spills immediately or barricade the area.
Ø  Report hazards on the surface immediately.
Ø  Avoid running cables or cords on the walkways.
Ø  Used ladder safely.
Ø  Ensure scaffolds are erected by a competent person and follow a tagging system.
Ø  Wear proper footwear.
Ø  Maintained adequate illumination.
Ø  Do not jump from an elevated surface.
Ø  Floor opening shall be covered and barricaded.
Ø  Don’t do horseplay.
Ø  Use Safety harness if working at height (more than 1.8 meters).

Author: Afnan Tajuddin

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