As a construction worker, there’s a good chance you will spend time on a scaffolding tower. While working from scaffolding is inherently safer than working from a ladder, it still comes with considerable risks.
What’s more, as you could easily be many floors up, the risk of serious injury, if you fall, will be high. There are several reasons you could fall:
- You lose your balance or take a wrong step
- You are thrown off by an electric shock
- You fall from a poorly erected scaffold
- You fall after a vehicle crashes into the tower
Bearing those risks in mind, employers must take certain steps to ensure it is safe for you to ascend the scaffold.
Firstly, they need to think about the location. If there are electricity cables close by, they should consider cutting the power. If there are vehicles in the vicinity they should ensure the space around the tower is marked off and protected. Then they must ensure the tower is properly constructed. If the ground below it is unstable, they may need to take precautions to provide a solid platform to start from. Correctly putting together the scaffold also means erecting barriers around the outside and toeboards around access holes.
Finally, they need to give you the necessary harness kits to attach yourself safely to the scaffold. What’s more, they need to ensure that you have the necessary training to use the kit and work on the scaffold safely.
Things can change overnight
A scaffold that is safe today, may not be so tomorrow. Hence the employer must nominate someone qualified to oversee the erection of the scaffold and continually check it is safe for workers to ascend.
If a step was missed and you get injured while working on scaffolding, understanding how to claim compensation will be crucial.