Scaffolding safety tips: A few do’s and don’ts

Depending on your profession, you may find yourself working on scaffolding almost every day of the week. For example, this is a way of life if you work in some parts of the construction industry.

While there are many benefits of using scaffolding, such as the convenience when compared to moving ladders around, there are some risks.

Here are a few things you should always do when using scaffolding:

  • Install the scaffolding based on the manufacturer's instructions
  • Only place the scaffolding on firm and level ground
  • Make sure you lock the wheels when the scaffolding is in use
  • Wear non-slip shoes at all times
  • Be sure there is a minimum distance of 10 feet between the scaffolding and power lines
  • Use guardrails when necessary

In addition to these things you should do, here are some of the top "don'ts" associated with using scaffolding:

  • Don't use scaffolding parts from different manufacturers
  • Don't alter any scaffolding accessories
  • Never use scaffolding for the storage of tools
  • Don't attempt to fix any defects on your own
  • Never work on scaffolding in inclement weather, especially strong wind, rain and snow
  • Never attempt to move scaffolding when in use

When you combine these do's and don'ts, you should have a better idea of the steps you can take to remain safe when using scaffolding. There is no guarantee you will never be part of an accident, but knowledge is power when it comes to using any type of construction equipment.

If you are ever part of a scaffolding accident, such as one in which you fall to the ground below, don't wait to call for medical help. You should also report the incident and injuries to your boss, as you want him or her to understand what went wrong.

Depending on your injuries and recovery time, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. This will provide financial assistance as you attempt to make a recovery, all with the idea of eventually returning to work.

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