Are you the type of worker who uses scaffolding on a regular basis? Do you often find yourself wondering if you're doing everything possible to maintain a high level of safety? Do you have concerns about being part of a scaffolding accident in the future?
Since a scaffolding accident can result in serious injury or death, there's never a good time to take a risk. Instead, you need to understand the many steps you can take to ensure your safety when using scaffolding. Here are seven tips to keep in mind at all times:
- Always construct scaffolding as recommended by the manufacturer
- Place scaffolding on level and stable ground
- Lock scaffolding wheels as soon as you get it in place
- Don't overload the scaffolding, such as with too many people and/or too much equipment
- Wear non-slip shoes to protect against a slip-and-fall accident
- Make sure others on the job site are aware that you are using scaffolding, so that they don't get too close
- Don't leave your scaffolding in a dangerous position at the end of the day
These are not the only safety tips to keep in mind when using scaffolding, but they are definitely among the most powerful. When you follow these, you'll feel much better about your ability to prevent an accident.
What to do after an accident
Even if you follow these tips, you could still be part of some type of scaffolding accident. If this happens, here are three steps you should immediately take:
- Call for medical help or have someone else do so for you
- Report the incident to your supervisor and/or HR department
- Don't attempt to move from the scene, as this could worsen any injury
Once you receive treatment and discuss your situation with your medical team, you'll better understand your injuries and what to expect in the future.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may require long-term follow up treatment in order to restore your previous level of health. If this means you will be unable to work, it's time to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. You can use this system to receive compensation until you can return to your job.