Scaffolding is used to gain access at a height to the external envelope of a building. Because working at heights is so dangerous, it is of utmost importance that all scaffold on-site is inspected daily to ensure that it has been constructed properly and does not pose a health and safety problem. Not carrying out an inspection puts all workers on-site at risk.
Ensure that the scaffold structure is designed to support its own weight, as well as the weight of any workers or materials that will be loaded onto it. Check the scaffold tubes to make sure they are in good condition, i.e. none are rusting, dented or broken.
Scaffold platforms should have wooden planks laid to the whole width of the area to prevent the risk of anyone falling through a gap. Check that the platforms are clear from debris, and that toe boards have been installed around the perimeter to prevent materials being pushed over the edge.
All ladders allowing access to higher levels of scaffold should be securely tied to the scaffold, and extend at least two feet above the higher platform to allow safe and easy access or egress. Employees should not have to use the crossbraces to gain access to another level.
All scaffold platforms must have a guardrail around the perimeter to prevent employees and materials from falling over the edge. If working in a residential area, you should use debris nets to prevent any falling objects. Check that the nets are securely tied to the scaffold, and that all handrails are secure.
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