Working on a solid structure or on the ground can help to improve safety on a construction project significantly.
Safe Work Australia provides some detailed guidance for these working methods, as described below.
If you can completely eliminate the need to work at a height, then this is the ideal scenario and will greatly reduce the risk of injury from slips or falls.
You can reduce the risk through working on the ground in a number of ways, such as:
Working while on a solid platform is another way of reducing the risk of a fall. In this instance, solid constructions are defined as:
The structural strength of the barrier will depend on the type of work that is expected to be done on it.
If you are not sure whether a structure is going to be up to the task then it is a good idea to have a structural engineer determine the safe loading capacity of the structure before use.
Barriers are a requirement, because of the risk of a person falling off the edge of a platform or construction.
A barrier should be designed with the intent of being able to withstand the force of a person falling onto it.
Guard rails should have a mid-rail and a toe board or an infill panel, while fences should have wire mesh with supports, and be reinforced at the top.
If you need to allow access for equipment such as hoists, then they should be protected properly with chains or gates.
Any hole, opening or penetration which leaves a gap big enough for a person to fall through should be protected with a cover that is strong enough to stop someone falling through it, or should be fenced off with barriers.
The surface of the construction should be non-slip, clean and free from potential tripping hazards, and should not have a gradient in excess of one in eight, or seven degrees.
Where the surface is cleated for extra grip, the gradient can be up to 20 degrees.
Where a plate floor is used:
The structure should provide a safe means of access for people to move around in the work area, and to get in and out, or up onto the platform.
The access can be offered by means of a permanently installed platform or ramp, a fixed stairway, or fixed (not portable) ladders.
There are several safety concerns to take into account, including:
Do not rely on a portable ladder to access a construction area unless there are no other access methods that would be reasonably possible for the venue in question.
Fixed access options are almost always a much better option and will be far safer.
If you are looking for knowledgeable and experienced scaffolders, who have leading-hands that work together with you and offer expert advice, please contact us at Skelscaff today on 1300 266 607 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.