Establishing Scaffold Safety Training & Guidelines

In our growing construction industry, many workers are performing some type of work on scaffolding. With many workers exposed to hazards from scaffolds, scaffolding safety needs to be a priority. There are numerous types of scaffolds, including supported, suspended, and rolling. Scaffolds are crucial in the construction industry and save both time and money when used properly. 

There are several things to consider when erecting, using, or disassembling any type of scaffold. Take a look at some of the hazards you can help to prevent:

Preventable Hazards with Scaffold Safety Traning

Falls - Injury or death from falls can be attributed to such things as a lack of guardrails or failure to install fall arrest systems when required. Investigations by WorkSafe into falls while working at height show that more than 50% of falls are from less than three metres and approximately 70% of falls are from ladders and roofs. However, many safety-conscious contractors and project owners require 100% fall protection at 1.8 metres or greater, especially work performed on scaffolds. 

Scaffold collapse - Scaffold collapse often occurs due to improperly installed construction. When building, moving or dismantling a scaffold, a knowledgeable scaffolding worker must be present as proper erection of scaffold is crucial in preventing this particular hazard. The knowledgeable person must consider factors such as the weight the scaffold will be required to hold, including the weight of the scaffold itself, the materials, and the workers on site. 

They should also consider other elements before building a scaffold, such as foundation stability, placement of scaffold planks, distance from the scaffold to the work surface, and tie-in requirements, to name a few. A knowledgeable scaffolding worker who can perform scaffold safety pre-planning will reduce the chances of injury to themselves and others. However, scaffold collapse does not necessarily mean the entire structure crashes to the ground.  Collapse can be as simple as a falling plank that did not overlap at support, but the end result can be just as devastating.

Struck by falling materials -  Injuries and deaths due to scaffolds are not only limited to the workers on the scaffold. Many individuals have been injured from being struck by materials or tools that have fallen from scaffold platforms.  Containment such as temporary roofing or netting is often installed on work platforms to prevent loose items from falling to the ground or lower level work areas when there is a hazard to employees working below.

It is also crucial that other individuals on the work site are aware of overhead work being performed.  Barricades that physically prevent individuals from walking under work platforms must be erected and signs warning of the hazards must be clearly posted. 

Where to get scaffolding training 

Scaffolding safety and use start from the ground up. All employees who work on scaffolds must have documented training that includes safety training topics from identification of fall hazards, falling tools and materials hazards.  Scaffolds with a platform height of 5m or more should only be installed by a qualified Scaffolder.

Easy Access provides free onsite training anywhere in New Zealand, in the safe and compliant use of Easy Access scaffold towers, edge protection and platform access systems.  If you are unsure of the best solution for your height access application, Easy Access Reps will provide a free evaluation and recommendation. Simply book an appointment and Easy Access will visit and evaluate your site to discuss your requirements. Training workbooks will be provided to any attendees at our training sessions, for reference during and after the training session. We will provide you with advice on the right equipment to make working on your site safe, convenient, easy and cost-effective.

Contact us on 0800 004 334 to arrange a scaffolding training from our specialised staff.