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If your site contains scaffolding, these are the risks you need to look out for

by , 13 August 2014
Construction sites are always scattered with scaffolding. It's the easiest and safest way to enable your employees to work at heights.

But this construction site staple comes with its own hazards and risks. Even though scaffolding is safer than using ladders, it can be the reason for a number of fatal accidents.

So when you do a risk assessment on your construction site ensure your look out for these scaffolding risks...


Scaffolding is a serious falling hazard

Scaffolding may be a lot more stable than a ladder but your employees can still fall off of it. There are a number of scaffolding hazards which can lead to this accident, such as:
- Loose scaffolding that doesn't have bolts holding it into the ground;
- Scaffolding without a safety rail;
- Excessively high scaffolding that wobbles; and
- Badly constructed scaffolding.
These are huge risks and it means your employees that work on the scaffolding may constantly be in danger. So you must look out for all of these hazards during your next risk assessment.
And don't forget that employees on the ground are in danger too...
*********** Hot off the press  ************
Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
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.

Scaffolding ups the risk of falling objects

Let's say you have employees working on your scaffolding, have their tools and tool boxes with them on the top platform of the scaffolding. One of these employees accidently knocks a hammer off this platform. It falls and hits one of your employees on the head. This can cause serious injuries and even brain damage.
So look out for hazards such as:
- Scaffolding near busy walk ways; 
- Employees taking too many tools up the scaffolding with them;
- No safety nets around the scaffolding to catch falling objects; and
- Employees who must work under or around the scaffolding.
Next time you do your risk assessment on your construction site, remember to watch out for these scaffolding hazards and risks.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the Risk Assessment Guide. It has everything you need to ensure your risk assessments are 100% legally compliant

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