Scaffolds are essential on many construction sites. They're also incredibly dangerous -- especially when you take into account the fact that falls are one of the leading causes of construction worker deaths.
If you're working a construction job that requires a scaffold, protect yourself from harm with the following safety tips:
1. Ask for scaffold training
If you've never worked on a scaffold before, ask for education. You need to know how to hook up your personal safety gear, how to properly climb onto and off the scaffold and what to do if there's an accident.
2. Look before you climb
Never climb a scaffold you haven't personally inspected. Look to see if it seems to be sturdy and well-built, using materials that don't show signs of severe wear or age. Make sure the scaffold is properly secured and level. If it is on wheels, make certain they are locked in place. As you climb, make certain that the platform at the top is properly braced against the building.
3. Wear personal protective equipment
A harness and safety belt are essential tools on a scaffold. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into climbing a scaffold without the right gear. That may be the only thing stopping you from a serious fall. Nonslip footwear is also an important addition to your gear when you're working at any height.
4. Keep everything neat and tidy
It doesn't take much to trip you up when your mind is on your work. Make sure that tools and materials are kept out of the way and organized when they're on the scaffold. That helps protect both the workers on the ground from injury, as well as those on the scaffold. You should also be conscious of how important it is to restrict how much weight is on the scaffold at any given moment. Be conscious of a scaffold's limitations and don't overload it.
If you're injured on the job in due to a fall from a scaffold, you may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation. That's the best way to secure your family's financial future when you are hurt.