Over 60% of fatalities involving work at height include falls from structures such as scaffold.
It is therefore essential that those in charge take all possible precautions to reduce the risk of falls. The first element of this is to ensure that, unless your scaffold is erected to a recognised configuration, it is designed by a competent person with experience and training in this field. All scaffold erections must be overseen by a competent supervisor. Once erected you should ensure that you inspect your scaffold frequently. It should be inspected after installation, before being used for the first time, and following that at intervals of no more than seven days. Make sure you re-inspect scaffold in the event of any circumstances that could compromise its safety, such as high winds, or if it has been modified in any way. Ensure that inspections are undertaken by a competent person who knows about your particular scaffold system. Use a tag system if applicable so workers know when the last inspection took place. After ensuring that the structure is sound it is then imperative that you train workers on how to use and access the scaffold. You should make sure they know not to make any changes to it, such as removing platform boards or toe boards. To protect workers you will need to make certain that the scaffold is suitably guarded. Double guard rails and toe boards should be used and make sure all open sides are protected. Platform floors must be free from gaps to avoid anything such as tools falling through. Avoid slips and trips by removing waste and spare materials, and ensure good housekeeping on the scaffold.