Who is Responsible for Ensuring the Safety of Scaffolding

Many building, renovation, and other construction jobs require the use of some form of scaffolding. A professional scaffolding company will be able to determine whether your project can utilise a basic or standard construct, they will be able to design a construct that precisely matches your requirements, and they will ensure that all of the appropriate permits and insurance policies are in place.

As with many aspects of construction projects, safety is of paramount importance in scaffolding design and use. There are a number of legal requirements, legislations, and regulations that must be met by the scaffolding company, by you, and by those that will be using the scaffolding in order to complete their job. Who, exactly, is responsible for ensuring the safety of scaffolding?

Public Safety

Public safety is extremely important. Not only can a poorly constructed scaffolding unit lead to injury and damage to property, but it could lead to considerable loss of money and reputation for everybody concerned. It is not only the scaffolding itself that can be potentially dangerous, but items and even people on the scaffolding.

The scaffolding company that you use should have public liability insurance. This will protect against the potential financial loss caused by injury or damage, but will do nothing to actually prevent accidents from occurring. The responsibility for ensuring that the scaffolding itself is safe rests with the scaffolding company, who should also undertake regular safety checks, but it is the construction company’s responsibility, and the individual user’s responsibility to ensure that it is used safely.

User Safety

Working on scaffolding should be safe and secure. Users should not be put under any undue risk or in any unnecessary danger, and they should be provided with all of the appropriate equipment when working on scaffolding. This includes hard hats and protective clothing, and it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that they use the equipment that they are provided with.

Working At Heights

Furthermore, for those users that will conduct their work on the scaffolding, it is necessary to have undergone training to be able to safely work at heights. This training ensures that everybody concerned with the putting up and the use of the scaffolding remains safe.

There are numerous factors to consider when looking at the safety of scaffolding and the people using it, and the height presents a number of potential hazards. Not only do people on the scaffolding run the risk of falling, but objects dropped from scaffolding can prove deadly.

Permits And Safety Inspections

In some circumstances, it is a legal requirement that the scaffolding company apply for and be granted a permit before they can start construction. Primarily, this is required when the scaffolding construct will be placed on a public highway, including foot paths.

Regardless of where the scaffolding is placed, regular safety inspections are essential. An experienced and skilled scaffolding professional needs to check the construct before it is used for the first time, after any alteration to the construct, following any extreme weather, and once every seven days. This is to ensure that it remains safe for use.

Scaffolding Requirements

When choosing a scaffolding company, do ensure that you use a professional service that not only offers good prices but that meets deadlines and abides by all of the relevant safety regulations and requirements.

While it is usually considered the responsibility of the scaffolding company to manage permits and ensure regulations are met, you should ensure that everything is in order and in place. It is likely to be you that will be challenged by customers or third parties if something does go wrong.

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