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Scaffolding accident adds to Eskom's load-shedding woes! Make sure your employees follow these 14 safety rules when using scaffolding

by , 11 February 2015
As if Eskom doesn't have its hands full with all the power problems, a scaffolding accident is worsening the crisis.

Last week, one unit at the Koeberg nuclear power station went down. The Star newspaper is now reporting employees were doing routine maintenance at the plant when the incorrect positioning of scaffolding caused an accident and tripped the reactor.

The unit will be offline for the next three months as Eskom continues to do maintenance. And load shedding will continue as the power grid remains vulnerable.

In its preliminary investigation, Eskom admits workers could have avoided the accident by following safety rules.

To avoid landing in a similar situation, make sure your employees follow these 14 safety rules when they use scaffolding.

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3 Tips to get your employees to comply with health and safety laws

Employees think that safety is something 'management' must do. They're wrong. Employees also have duties to comply with the OHS Act.

It's your responsibility to make sure your employees comply. Don't know how to do it?

Here's how…

Here are 14 safety rules your employees must follow when using scaffolding

When using scaffolding, your employees must stick to these rules, says the Health & Safety Advisor:
1. They mustn't change or remove any part of the scaffolding;
2. They must make sure all hatches on the scaffolding remain closed as they work;

3. They must use a scaffolding ladder to climb the scaffolding and not use frames, beams or poles to climb;
4. They must lift their tools and equipment onto the scaffolding by rope or use some other hoisting device such as a tool box or bucket and rope;
5. They mustn't carry tools and equipment while climbing the access ladder on the scaffolding (they need to hold onto the railings on the scaffolding so they don't fall);
6. If it's necessary to wear a safety harness and lanyard while on the scaffolding, they must make sure they secure it to the structure or a building;
7. They must never move scaffolding (only scaffolding erectors have permission to move scaffolding);
8. They mustn't throw items from the scaffolding to the ground. They must only use a hoist, rope or container to do this;
9. They mustn't push or pull another person while on the scaffolding;
10. They mustn't run on scaffolding;
11. They must wear the correct PPE when they work on the scaffolding (this includes a hard hat, safety shoes or boots, gloves, harness and lanyard);
12. They mustn't climb on partially built scaffolding;
13. They must only use scaffolding if it has a tag that says 'safe for use' signed by the inspector; and
14. They must make sure there's a barricade around the scaffolding so people without authority don't climb on it.

If you don't teach employees who work on scaffolding these rules, you'll pay a hefty fine

If you don't take steps to keep your employees safe when they work with scaffolding, the DoL could fine you R50 000, put you in jail for years or both (Section 37 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). So train your employees on the safe use of scaffolding and make sure they follow these rules.
PS: To discover your nine duties to employees that work on scaffolding, the four mistakes to avoid when using scaffolding as well as a 14 step checklist for putting up scaffolding safely, check out the Health & Safety Advisor.

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