15 Feb Warning – Do Not Use Unsafe Scaffold
Unfortunately too many people die each year falling from unsafe scaffolding whilst working at heights. It’s the biggest single killer in the Australian building construction industry. When you are working at height, you need to use scaffolding built by a qualified, insured licensed scaffolder. It is not safe or sensible to balance on a ladder to replace windows, fix guttering or replace roof tiles. It is certainly not a good idea to balance scaffold boards (sometimes called scaffold planks) or a ladder on top of another ladder.
Get adequately trained before using scaffolding. Training must be completed by a qualified person and includes identification of electrocution, fall and falling objects hazards and the procedures for dealing with those hazards. Training must also include the proper use of the scaffold, how to handle materials and the load capacities of the scaffold.
Make certain that anyone constructing, or directly supervising workers constructing any scaffold from which a person or materials could fall more than 4 metres, has a valid certificate of competency appropriate to that type of scaffold. This also applies to any alterations to the scaffold or dismantling of the scaffold. Insist that scaffold contractors have appropriate certificates and licenses. Keep an up-to-date site register of certificate holders.
Before getting on a scaffold check to make sure that a competent person has inspected the scaffold before commencing work and that it is safe to use and in proper working order. Scaffolds over 4 metres can only be erected, dismantled, altered or moved under the direct supervision of a licensed scaffolder. If you are ever unsure regarding the safety of a scaffold check with a scaffolder before use.
Be mindful of coworkers working above and below you at all times, as well as others working on the scaffold. If you witness improper use on or around scaffold you should stop what you are doing and notify a supervisor.
You wonder why someone risks there life to paint a gutter or prune a hedge??? Are these people completely insane or simply just not aware of the potential danger. What’s your life worth? Don’t risk using unsafe scaffold. Get a qualified scaffolder to build a safe and secure work platform.