Scaffold injuries are unfortunately commonplace with an estimated 2.3 million construction workers working on scaffolds. In fact, approximately one in five of all fatal falls on a construction site are from scaffolds – that’s over 60 people per year. In New Mexico, scaffold safety training, is critical to construction workers safety, just like everywhere else. Here is an set of safety strategies and tips to follow on all New Mexico construction sites using scaffolding.
With proper planning and safety awareness, many of these falls can be avoided, and following these basic safety tips will help both avoidance and prevention.
- Your scaffolds need to be at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Proper assembly of your scaffold is essential when erecting them and taking them down.
- High winds and storms should mean no scaffold use.
- Additional safety equipment should be used if you are expecting unsafe weather. This could include personal fall-arrest harnesses or wind screens.
- If someone who has experience tells you it’s too dangerous, listen. Nine times out of 10, this person has probably had extensive training and experience in the use of scaffolds.
- Check for missing tie-ins or bracing elements that could cause the scaffolding to be weak.
- Ensure others are watching out for falling objects from scaffolds. This can cause injury even if the object is not particularly heavy.
- Scaffold during daylight.
These are a few specific measures that pertain to scaffolding, however there are many accidents due to problems with planks and guiderails too. A study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) found that 72% of construction workers claimed that the accident occurred through their support giving way, or faulty planking, slipping, or being struck by a falling object. Inspect and maintain your equipment regularly.
You are required as an employer to provide safety training for any worker who is using a scaffold. The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR) advises:
“a competent person must give safety training to any worker who assembles, takes apart, moves, operates, repairs, maintains or inspects scaffolds.”
Make sure you choose a comprehensive scaffold training course that teaches all the prerequisites of using scaffolding. It should cover how to erect, move or alter scaffolds correctly, and it should also include training on how to safely work around scaffolds and protect yourself and others from falling tools and objects.
To learn about comprehensive workplace safety training and scaffold safety training, contact Safety Counselling today on 505-881-1112. You owe the peace of mind workplace safety to yourself and your workers!