Construction Scaffolding

  • 20th June, 2012

Construction scaffolding is a temporary framework structure used in the building, repair, or maintenance of any large structure.

The large structure may be a house, building, skyscraper, or even a statue. Regardless of the structure itself, construction scaffolding is a mainstay in the building business, which is why technology, safety, and its uses have changed through the years. In years past, many contractors built their own scaffolding structures out of wood or bamboo, without much regard to any type of safety standards. Today, most scaffolding is made from top quality steel or aluminum and is erected by trained, qualified individuals.

It is possible for construction workers to become seriously injured or even killed when working on and around construction scaffolding. In recent years there has been an outpouring of legitimate and effective scaffolding training and education which has reduced the number of scaffolding-related injuries and deaths. Through this extensive training and education, almost every scaffolding-related incident can be prevented. It all starts with the type of scaffolding used and the quality with which it was made.

The metal quality of any scaffolding structure is imperative in the amount of safety it can provide. Many scaffolding structures are made with scrap aluminum or steel, which can bend easily and decay faster than those built with high quality metal. Always make sure that construction scaffolding is made with prime grade steel or aluminum to ensure stability. Additionally, also consider the gauge, or thickness, of the metal itself as well as the tube diameter. The thicker the gauge and larger the diameter, the more stability the scaffolding structure will have.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than two million construction workers work on scaffolding structures. OSHA contends that proper training could prevent more than 4,500 injuries and more than fifty deaths each year, which is why proper scaffolding training is essential to preventing any accidents involving construction scaffolding accidents and injuries. The most common incidents include falls from elevated heights, collapse of the scaffolding structure caused by overload, getting struck by falling debris or tools, and electrocution.

It is wise for someone who is experienced and knowledgeable to carry out a daily scaffolding inspection before each shift begins. Furthermore, inspection should occur after any event that could cause possible damage to the scaffolding structure. This individual should be on site daily and have been qualified through the Scaffolding Inspection courses. It is important that construction workers also be trained to work on and around scaffolding, reiterating the importance of never taking chances and taking advantage of all safety precautions such as hardhats, safety goggles, harnesses, and rigging.

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