Scaffolding Safety Training
Every year, too many workers are injured or killed due to scaffolding incidents that either had to do with worker error, or the scaffolding was improperly built and ended up collapsing or falling down in some way. The most unfortunate part of these incidents is the fact that a majority of them could’ve been prevented had the workers or scaffold builders taken scaffolding safety training. Scaffolding safety training will train workers, supervisors, and managers the correct and proper scaffolding safety techniques and methods. With over 2 million workers operating on scaffolds on a regular basis, OSHA approximates that appropriate scaffolding safety measures would eliminate up to 4500 accidents and 50 fatalities a year! Not only that, it is estimated that companies would save close to $90 million in lost work days and productivity. Scaffolding safety training matters at all levels of an organization!
The first element of scaffolding safety is being able to recognize potential hazards. Hazards are usually one of the following:
- Falls from the scaffolding platform due to lack of, or poorly set up, fall protection.
- Collapsing of the scaffold due to overloading of the scaffold or just poor stability.
- Being hit by falling tools, debris, and other work related materials.
- Electrocution on scaffolds that are set up too close to power lines.
OSHA also requires that any and all workers who will be working on a scaffold be educated by a “qualified” employee who is knowledgeable and experienced in scaffold safety. Workers who are working on scaffolds also need to be able to identify and recognize all potential hazards and know what measures need to be taken to address these hazards. However, workers will still need scaffold safety training on top of this to teach them:
- The nature of fall hazards, electrical hazards, and falling object hazards within and around the work area.
- The proper methods for addressing hazards and correct usage of personal fall arrest mechanisms and falling object protection devices.
- Correct usage of scaffolds and the proper management of materials that will be used on scaffolds.
- Maximum load capacity and load carrying volumes of scaffolds being used.
Along with the employees who will be working on the scaffolding platform, there will also be workers who will be erecting, disassembling, operating, maintaining, moving, inspecting, or repairing scaffolds. These workers must be well trained in:
- The proper methods if disassembling, erecting, moving, operating, maintaining, inspecting, or repairing of the particular scaffold being used.
- Design regulations, maximum expected load carrying capacities, and meant use of the particular scaffold.
Even if a worker is trained in all the above areas, they still may need a refresher whenever:
- There are changes at the job site that create new dangers in which employees have not yet been properly trained in.
- New dangers are created due to new scaffolding, falling object protection, or other types of equipment.
- There is evidence in workers’ performances that indicates that they have not retained the scaffolding safety information they were educated in.
As you can see, there are a lot of different things that go into scaffolding safety training and workers can oftentimes ignore or simply forget simple rules and regulations that are designed to protect them. Assuming that you, or your coworkers, know everything that needs to be known about scaffold safety can be dangerous. Even if you have been well versed in scaffold safety, how to properly erect and disassemble scaffolds, and how to correctly identify and address potential threats near and around the scaffold, you still want to refresh yourself on a regular basis to better retain the information and learn of any new developments related to scaffolding and scaffolding safety. Scaffolding incidents, much like any type of incident in the workplace, is usually due to worker negligence, ignorance, or simple lack of knowledge or education. Don’t be one of these types of workers! Sign up for a scaffolding safety class today and give yourself and your coworkers peace of mind.