If you're starting a major exterior remodeling job on your home, one of the things you might consider is investing in a scaffolding rental to help you get to what you need to reach. Scaffolding is a great way to do this because it's stable, stays up for the length of the project, and gives you a secure, level platform to work from. However, if you're new to using it, it can be intimidating. Here's a look at a few key safety considerations that you should keep in mind.
Seek Safety Training
Before you get on the scaffolding unit for the first time, make sure you know how to be safe up there. The best way to do that is to seek some safety training before you start the job. Look for someone who is experienced with scaffolding systems, including assembly, inspection, and safety.
You'll want training on how to properly use the scaffolding, the safest ways to move while you're up there, how to handle supplies on the structure, and the basics of the weight limitations. In addition, you should also receive training on fall risks, fall protection devices, electrocution hazards, and tips for mitigating all of those things.
Any time anything significant changes, such as the addition of another safety hazard or a change in the materials you're working with, always seek support for further training. That way, you don't risk any inadvertent mistakes. If, at any time, you feel like you're not confident on the scaffold, you can always look to a local specialist for more training and advice, too.
Always Be Cautious And Responsible
When the scaffolding is installed, make sure it's done by a trained professional. It should never be installed, dismantled, or moved without a specialist onsite to be sure that it's done right. Once it is up, conduct a thorough safety inspection before you get on it, every day. Check the bolts, screws, safety hardware, anchors, and other fixtures to be sure that everything is still tight and nothing has shaken loose at all.
Wear the proper gear every time you get on the scaffold as well. Start with a pair of work boots that are fitted with a non-skid sole. They should be strong and sturdy. Steel-toe or otherwise reinforced boots are great for this because they protect your feet from anything that could fall. In addition, always wear a hard hat any time you're around or on the scaffold. This is essential, because things falling off the structure can cause serious injury.
Always wear a safety belt when you're on the scaffold. That way you can use a fall prevention system when you need to. In addition, look into some tool lanyards to help you keep all of your tools secure on the structure. This reduces the risk of injury to anyone working below you, as it keeps the tools from falling more than a few feet before it reaches the end of the lanyard length.
Use A Fall Prevention System Properly
Especially for novices on scaffolding, a fall prevention system is a crucial investment. It will add some expense to your rental, but it could save your life and the lives of others working with you. Before connecting to the system each day, inspect all of the straps and anchors. Make sure everything is in good condition and shows no signs of wear. Anchor it to a point that's close enough to where you're working that you won't fall more than a few feet before it stops you.
Always encourage others on the scaffold to use the fall prevention system as well. Make sure everyone understands the safety requirements and follows them. If anyone is resistant, assign them jobs that don't require being on the scaffold.
Scaffolding is a great way to get exterior work done quickly and easily, but it should be respected for the safety risk that it can pose. With these tips, you can do your remodeling project confident that you know how to be safe while working with the scaffold structure.