Are You Using Your Scaffold Tower Correctly?
Scaffoldings, if not used properly, can cause a lot of casualties. If you are unaware as to what a scaffold tower is, well, a scaffold tower is a structure that is often used by workers to prevent falls when working at heights.
Yes, those are the towers which you see a worker climbing up, to say, clean the glasses of a giant skyscraper. It goes without saying – working on a scaffold tower is a dangerous business.
Scaffolding accidents are a very common sort of mishap which we get to witness today. In fact, very recent research confirms just how recurrent it is – scaffolding accidents at job sites account for approximately 10,000 injuries and 80 deaths, annually!
Henceforth, it becomes really necessary to ensure whether you are using the scaffoldings correctly or not. Here’s how you can check it:
1. Check if the base is stable
Everything lies in the foundation! The same goes for checking if the scaffold you are just about to climb is fit to use or not. The first thing to check regarding the strength of your scaffold is its base. It is very much self-explanatory, but let us still explain why.
The base of the tower is eventually going to take all the weight – of the people climbing the tower as well as the weight of the rest of the tower. Besides, at that height, the winds blow more strongly causing the person to lose his balance.
On top of it, if the base is not stable, the scaffold structure will sway which is sure to cause a lot of discomforts and interrupt more with the balance of the person who is on the top. So, make sure the base is stable and strong!
2. Never use scaffolds with bricks under any part
We have said it once, we will say it again – never use your scaffold tower with bricks or blocks as support. If the scaffolding is such that you feel it needs extra support from bricks, do not use it at all. This is probably the most dangerous way of using a scaffold.
The brick may provide support and work appropriately as a prop to compensate for the missing part. But it takes away the stability of the tower, which probes a danger to the life of all those working. Hence, if you are using your scaffold with a brick for surplus support, remove the brick right now!
3. Check yourself – are you rightly prepped?
When discussing if the scaffold tower is being used correctly or not, attention must also be given to the person who is actually going to use it. It is one of the most common advice for scaffolding yet needs another mention – never climb up a scaffolding without a proper harness.
You may be the most stable person, but the winds at the top always cause the person to struggle to find balance. Similarly, a helmet is another essential! Not just for the one climbing the tower, but also for the other crew members. And, the last thing to keep in mind before climbing up the tower is checking your footwear.
Remember, you are going to walk through some really steep pipes. You do not want your footwear to be slippery. Therefore, invest in those shoes which provide grip and balance.
4. Move the tower the right way
The scaffold towers often need to be moved from one place to another while working. In such a case, minute supervision and precision are needed to ensure safety. While moving the tower, keep in mind the following things.
Firstly, check that there are no electric cables or power lines overhead. Next up, see that there are no potholes and the ground is firm and level. Most importantly, push or pull the tower from the base only. Voila! You are ready to move the tower safely.
5. If the tower is old, replace it
If you do not want to compromise with the safety and the security of the lives of your workers one bit, replace the old scaffold tower with a new, professional one.
Altas Scaffolding or https://www.altascaffolding.com/ offers brilliant scaffold towers which ensures top-notch safety. Not to forget, it strictly adheres to the various quality assurance policies. So, if you want to ensure that you are using your scaffolds properly, install a new one.
Over to you…
Scaffold towers are a necessity, especially in case of mobile towers or building repairs. Owing to the many dangers it is associated with, it becomes important to see whether you are using one correctly or not. Here, we listed a few ways through which you can be sure of using your scaffold tower rightly. Follow this guide, the next time you install a scaffolding.