Scaffolding accidents continue to occur on work sites all across the country.
Despite the best endeavours of Australian engineers and legislators, workplace violations on construction sites are being reported.
Either due to poor behaviour, oversight with planning or time constraints that pressure builders to accelerate their development, accidents are a continuing factor in this field.
In an effort to cut down on these incidents, it is vital that both the public and private sectors come together to identify what accidents are occurring, what workplace environment is established to see those events take place, and what preventative measures can be implemented to minimize these tragedies from taking place in future.
Let us illustrate what common accidents are being reported within the industry.
The first issue that emerges when assessing scaffolding accidents occurs through a failure to communicate. This will be inclusive of a lack of labeling on chemicals, tools and data sheets that outline what practices are to be adhered to. Each chemical supplier must offer an explicit rundown on the risks of exposure, detailing how they should be used under specific circumstances. Any hazards or events that are not outlined to staff before a scaffold is erected are placed in immediate danger.
Poorly Constructed Scaffolds
Slips, falls and breaks are a direct result of scaffolding that is poorly crafted at the initial phase. When guard rails are missing or planks are not bedded down with assurance, there are gaps in the system that can become hazards over the course of a project. Correct training procedures are needed in this instance to educate all staff members on the guidelines to erect and dismantle a scaffold from beginning to end.
Stored energy sources from electrical equipment or hydraulic systems are reported as a common form of accident in the field of scaffolding. Staff members must be aware of measures that can be adopted to disable any machinery that falters, because systems that unexpectedly start can lead to injury or death in extreme cases. One way to mitigate against these examples is to have a lockout procedure embraced where managers can empower their team to cut off these accidents at the pass.
Falling Workers and Falling Debris
The leading cause of death and injury when it comes to scaffolding occurs during falls. Of the c that is gleaned from construction companies, reports have detailed that falls from a height are statistically the more dangerous hazard that occurs on work sites of this nature. This will be seen when harnesses are not fitted correctly or guard rails are not put in place to allow professionals to maneuver with confidence.
Yet it is not only the physical fall of the professional that is of concern, but the falling of debris and equipment that causes accidents to take place. This is particularly evident with hardware including power tools, nails, hardhats, wooden planks, steel rods and other items that land at a strong velocity at ground level.
Electrical Wiring Faults
Exposed electrical wires are a major hazard of work in the scaffolding industry. Any installation that is situated in a building should be established in accordance with correct guidelines, but a comprehensive analysis must be carried out by a licensed professional before the development takes place. Faults in this instance can see fires emerge or workers electrocuted.
Any professional enterprise across any sector of business should be doing their due diligence to protect workers. What is paramount for those in the scaffolding industry however is that mistakes and oversight can lead to the death of workers on site, a scenario that should never occur under any circumstance.
It is only through an open and honest examination of the practices of these operators that tangible progress can be made. This target will be achieved when hierarchy, middle management and staffers respectively each follow the same safety practices and principles.