Staying safe when using any equipment at heights is critical to avoiding serious injury and putting your life or the lives of others at risk. When used correctly and safely, scaffold towers can be very effective for long periods of time at high places, they are easy to assemble and can be moved from one location to another fairly simply. In addition, they can provide greater accessibility to areas that are usually more difficult to reach, such as on construction sites. It’s important to understand key safety guidelines when using scaffold towers. Here are some simple considerations you need to know about scaffold tower safety.
The introduction of work-at-height regulations has helped to reduce the risk of using scaffold towers. Our list of things you must do to ensure scaffolding safety is based on the guidelines set out in these regulations.
Conduct a thorough risk assessment of the use of scaffold towers in your working environment before assembly or use. The assessment should be completed by someone with relevant training and experience in assembling towers. By doing so, they can detect any problems with the tower itself during assembly and eliminate any potential hazards in the area. It is recommended that scaffolders obtain official certification to do so.
Be aware of safety procedures. Anyone working on or around the equipment must know the procedures for using the tower on site before they can use it. Some safety standards are obvious, such as wearing helmets and high-visibility jackets, and organizing tools and materials on site.
Make sure the tower you are going to use is appropriate for the work you plan to do.
Always place the scaffolding tower on a sturdy and level surface.
Ensure that workers take regular breaks and rests to minimize the chance of accidents.
Always avoid areas with overhead obstructions or power lines.
Build towers only to the manufacturer’s recommended height and always strictly follow the instruction manual provided.
Ensure that anyone assembling or working on the tower has read the manual.
Tower components must be inspected regularly to ensure that they have not been damaged or worn, so they are still in proper working order.
Know the load-bearing capacity of the tower you are using; exceeding weight limits can affect the structure and stability of the scaffold.
Use additional safety equipment, such as harnesses and harnesses, as workers will be spending a lot of time on the ground. In addition, safety harnesses can be used for tools and heavy equipment to prevent accidents from occurring.
Add adequate signage on and around the scaffold. Other workers may not always be aware that they are working near the scaffold, so signage is good for raising awareness of this. For the same reason scaffolding tubes are painted in different colors such as blue, orange and red, improving the visibility of the tower will make people aware of the work being done.
Never work on a platform without guardrails. The likelihood of an accident is much higher if there are no railings on the platform where workers are standing.
Never stand on an unprotected platform when building or dismantling a scaffold tower, as this could result in injury or damage to the tower.
Do not attempt to build a tower without a manual, no manual should mean no tower and it is very dangerous and reckless to continue without a manual.
Do not use your tower in bad weather conditions as this can be life threatening.
Do not assume that your tower will always be in good condition, regular inspections are still required before each use.
Do not climb up or down the tower or enter from an unapproved area, your risk of falling is much higher if you do so.
Do not remove any tethers or supports without first consulting the site manager.
Do not attempt to use temporary platforms, always use the correct type of plates and bearers.
Do not remove anything from the structure of the tower, such as boards, handrails or ladders, contact your supervisor first. Always maintain the structural integrity of the tower.
Do not throw, drop or dump any material high up on the tower as this may result in injury to ground personnel below.
Do not remove any signs from or around the scaffold tower until the job is complete.