Whether you are using scaffolding in the course of your work or have taken advantage of the growing trend in scaffold hire for a spot of DIY at home, there are some very stringent guidelines in place to safely use them. Several questions regarding scaffolding safety, which in turn makes it safer for you to work at heights, crop up over and over again, and so here we address the main ones.
What are the best ways to secure a scaffold?
Scaffolding can stretch many feet up into the air, so its stands to reason it needs to be securely attached to something. You will get instructions on how to do this when you hire your scaffold and do not think you know best and skip over this. There are generally two ways of securing scaffold. Tension poles slot into the window recess and the scaffolding is built out from then, or long poles set at an angle from the scaffolding tower, known as outriggers, act as a support for the scaffold hire.
As you will be building your scaffolding from the bottom upwards it is imperative than everything is in place as you go. Two important items here are walking boards and toe boards. The walking boards are self-explanatory and have to be fixed securely in place with no movement. In comparison, toe boards are walking boards tipped on their side and laid vertically. They stop you kicking anything off the scaffolding while you are working.
If your scaffolding is 5′ or over in height, then guard rails have to be in place by law, so do not neglect them. The top rail has to be between 42-45 inches above the walking boards/platform, the mid rail half way in between the platform and the top rail, which are usually made from pipe, flat bars or 2 x 4 pieces of lumber.
A hard hat is essential, as is appropriate footwear. Even if it is the height of summer do not walk up scaffolding wearing flip flops! Appropriate footwear is essential. Another warning when working outdoors during the summer months is to ensure you wear sunblock to protect yourself from sunburn. Also, if you aren’t great with heights, a harness will give you that extra feeling of security so you can work more productively and safely from a height.