20 Feb Safety Concerns for Scaffolding in Sydney
Working on live sites requires a great deal of skill and concentration.
Especially for developers based in the major cities of Australia, there are external factors such as extreme heat that make these tasks all the more difficult.
When it comes to scaffolding in Sydney, these are temporary structures that are designed to help these professionals maneuver between stories and locations on a property with relative ease.
However, a large percentage of workplace injuries, accidents and fatalities are a direct cause of faults with scaffolding, an issue that deserves more attention as construction and development work continues across the city in 2019 and beyond.
For those Sydney operators who are involved with these projects, it is important to take stock of the safety concerns that are evident in these scenarios.
Falling Debris and Tools
Debris and tools falling from a distance is one of the core safety concerns for scaffolding in Sydney. Despite the appropriate railings supporting movement for employees, there are still items that are left on these structures and one false slip can see them fall down a great height. In the event that they are 10-15 flights upwards, these power tools, blocks of concrete nails, hammers and boxes become missiles that drop with a great trajectory. There is no safety helmet in the world that can protect from these falls.
Falling From Planks
When the integrity of scaffolding in Sydney is compromised, this is where workers can fall. The weight-bearing can be poorly calculated where there is a load that places too much of a strain on the scaffold. Then there are harnesses that are poorly attached, seeing gaps in guardrails and weak spots in toeboards as major safety concerns. This creates an environment where slips and falls will result.
Poorly Practiced Inspections
Whilst we have been talking about direct and physical safety concerns for scaffolding in Sydney, we need to outline one of the core reasons why these accidents occur. This is in large part due to poorly practiced inspections, failing to identify where the hazards are situated and overlooking key details that need to be ticked off before professionals can conduct their work. The site manager is the key designated member who must ask the core questions of the scaffold:
- Is it assembled correctly?
- Has anything been moved or altered since it was erected?
- Can it be taken down safely?
- Are there external factors such as weather, lighting or interference that could affect its integrity?
- Is the terrain stable and safe enough to hold the structure in place?
Once these questions have been asked and responded to satisfactorily, then the project can proceed unencumbered.
Lack of Employee Education and Qualifications
A workforce on site who are not aware of the hazards and the correct practices when dealing with scaffolding in Sydney is a recipe for disaster. Sitting through occupational health and safety seminars might not sound like an enjoyable experience but the fact of the matter is these programs are designed to have workers educated and qualified on safe practice. This is where lives are saved and developers are covered for insurance, ensuring that any accident that occurs does not send an individual bankrupt for a moment of oversight.
There are other elements that are included with scaffolding in Sydney that makes for poor practice. The underlying issue around this environment is that the contractors and workers on site have a healthy and supportive team culture where there is competency and diligence by the professionals and that they supervise and crosscheck each other’s duties. These structures can falter if left to their own devices and carpenters, builders and construction workers simply assume that everything is up to code.