Scaffolding & Ladders

Scaffolds are used extensively on construction sites. Scaffolding is usually placed to provide reach and support. It is used by carpenters, electricians, roofers and so on. Many scaffolds could be as high as three to four stories. Hence, scaffolds are usually placed as if building the structure itself. Scaffolds and Ladders, both have their safety requirements on construction sites.

   In residential structures, scaffolds are placed for framing, wiring and even roofing. Without the scaffolds, it is almost impossible to move from floor to floor and from one ceiling joist to the next. Since scaffolds are essentially ladders, they must be placed with safety codes and requirements in mind. Avoiding these requirements is not only a hazard but fined by the safety inspectors who visit these sites every now and then. Scaffolding requirements include horizontal and vertical guard rails as fall barriers. An improvised anchor point for a harness is also recommended.

Even ladders must be used with safety in mind. When ladders are transported from site to site, they must be properly secured to the vehicle’s roof. If ladders are not secured, then they are considered a hazard to road traffic. Once on the site, the ladders are usually placed on a dry surface inclined to a wall at a forty-five-degree angle. Steep inclinations are not considered safe and hence avoided. A ladder must also have a spotter. For example, a three-step ladder usually has a spotter to hold the ladder in case it slips from the base down.

 In conclusion, “OSHA statistics show that 61% of construction accidents were due to rebar impalements” (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/construction/falls/rebaraccident.html). Hence, it’s a hazard for construction workers who work around the rebars especially on ladders and other heights. As a result, scaffolding and ladder safety requirements must be met with thorough detail! Scaffold locks, Stepladder base support and step ladder lock for vehicle roofs are just some examples where consumer products might make safety hazards a thing of the past!

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