02-04-2014

It is important that you as a builder or contractor discuss the use of scaffolding with whoever has hired you to ensure you are both fully aware of the safety issues associated with the equipment. The site manager or whoever is in charge of the scheme is responsible for everyone on site and people must work together to keep each other safe.

The government has essential guidance to follow when it comes to using scaffolding hire. As well as keeping employees safe, it points out that builders have a responsibility to protect members of the public if they are at risk due to the work taking place.

To do this, scaffolding work should be scheduled at quiet times or, if this is not possible, an application for a highway closure can be made to the local council. Similarly, scaffolding boards should be kept clear at all times so that no debris or tools can fall and hit people passing by – be they workers or members of the public.

Boards used for scaffolding should be British Standard BS2482 and scaffolding should never be used too near power lines due to the obvious safety issues surrounding electricity this presents.

Once scaffolding has been put up, builders should not consider this part of the project to be complete. It needs to be well-maintained at all times to keep it safe and this means weekly checks. Furthermore, if any alterations are made to the structure it must be checked again, while a similar process needs to take place if part of the scaffolding is damaged or following a period of bad weather that could cause damage that may go unnoticed without closer inspection.

If any ladders are being used they must be strong and in good condition to avoid any accidents. Smaller, domestic ladders are not suitable for this type of task. Workers should not carry any heavy or bulky loads up and down these ladders as this can potentially be very dangerous. Hiring lifting equipment could help to ensure this does not happen.

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