How Safe Is Scaffolding?
The primary reason for the construction of scaffolding to support any building or roofing project is safety, but how safe is scaffolding in itself?
To the untrained eye, scaffolding may look a little daunting, especially to those who find themselves having walk underneath it for any reason. However, scaffolding is very rarely dangerous in any way, especially when put together and used properly.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind if you are ever worried about the safety of scaffolding whilst trying to decide if you need scaffolding erected for your next construction project.
What regulations are in place regarding scaffolding?
The government have previously published a set of rules intended to prevent injury and lower the risks when it comes to the use of scaffolding. These are:
- Only those who have received proper training should be allowed to set up any scaffolding structure.
- The responsibility to obtain permission and licences to put up scaffolding on pavements or by public walkways falls on the individual contractors.
- The responsibility to check that these permissions and licences are in place falls on the person or company commissioning this work and that the permissions and licences are in-date – if you are hiring scaffolders, that’s you.
- If the structure is being placed in public (anywhere outside the perimeters of a private home), all work should be scheduled for quieter times in order to lower the risk to the public. If your home leads directly out onto the pavement (I.e: you do not have a driveway or front yard/garden where the scaffolding will be placed), this falls under these rules.
- Once erected, scaffolding must be inspected by a professionally trained contractor before it is used, every seven days, following any harsh weather conditions and after any changes to the structure of the scaffolding have been made.
These rules are designed to keep the scaffolders, construction workers, homeowners or staff (depending on whether or not this is a domestic or commercial project) and passers-by safe. It’s the responsibility of both the scaffolding company and the individual commissioning the scaffolding to ensure that they are following the rules.
How common are accidents related to scaffolding?
Nothing is entirely accident-proof, especially when it comes to working at height. The most recent statistics available according to the NASC (National Access & Scaffolding Confederation) state that there was 105 scaffolding-related injuries in 2019, with 24 of these classed as a fall from height.
However, there were no fatalities, due likely to the close and careful following of guidelines and proper safety precautions by both scaffolders and construction teams using the scaffolding structure.
If you are worried about having scaffolding put together for an upcoming project, it’s important to note that the company that you are working with have more than likely been trained to follow the Work At Height Regulations put in place in 2005.
What are the Work At Height Regulations 2005?
The Work At Height Regulations of 2005 set out a number of guidelines and instructions which are used to keep scaffolders, construction workers and those interacting with them safe.
These regulations include notes on the groups who are permitted to work at height – namely only those with high-quality, professional training – as well as the kinds of precautions that should always be taken in order to prevent injury. These are classed as collective protection and personal protection.
Collective protection covers protective measures which are designed to protect more than one person at any given time, considering the risks not just to workers, but to members of the public in the area, too.
Personal protection covers protective measures which workers must take in order to ensure their own safety, such as wearing a hard-hat and high-vis clothing.
Those carrying out the work should already be well aware of these regulations and of the importance of following them. However, if you are concerned that regulations are not being followed and that actions of contractors working on the scaffolding are endangering you or others, you are within your rights to approach this with them.
360 Scaffold Services – Professional Every Time
Here at 360 Scaffold Services, we understand how important it is that safety rules and regulations are followed to the letter and strive to work professionally and safely with every job we do.
We have over 20 years experience working with scaffolding and work hard to ensure that every client receives the highest quality of service possible.
If you are looking to have scaffolding erected for an upcoming project in South Yorkshire, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and see what we can do to help you.