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Scaffolding and fall arrest equipment: Here's what you need to know

by , 01 August 2014
Scaffolding is a common sight on construction sites. You probably know how wobbly scaffolding can be because you've seen the way it sways when people climb on it.

This means, if your employees use scaffolding, it's really easy for them to slip off.

You have to protect them from this hazard by giving them proper safety equipment.

Read on to find out what you need to give them and how it works...

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You must give your employees fall arrest equipment if they work on scaffolding 

If your employees work on any raised surface you must give them fall arrest equipment (safety harnesses). These fall protection harnesses can save your employees from fatal falls.
You must also ensure there's a safety rail around the raised area, whether they're working on scaffolding or some other raised area.
Your employees will then use their safety gear with the safety railing to ensure their risk of falls are reduced safe.
Here's how they work.

Here's how your employees' PPE and the safety rail work to protect them

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety harnesses goes on your employee's body. He must fasten it around him securely.
Next, once he's on top of the scaffolding, he must connect a lifeline (safety rope) from his harness to the safety rail.
Because the scaffolding erectors bolted it into the ground as it should be, if your employee slips the safety rail and lifeline with catch him.
This won't work if your scaffolding team didn't securely bolt the scaffolding into the ground. Loose scaffolding will fall over with your employee if his harness connects him to the rail.
So ensure your employees wear their safety harnesses but also check your scaffolding team bolted it into the ground correctly.
This is the best way to ensure your employees stay safe when they work on scaffolding.
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Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
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If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.

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