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Scaffold Safety: Winter Safety

Abiding by safety rules and regulations set up by OSHA is one way of assuring a safe environment where scaffolding, construction, maintenance, etc. is concerned. Here are some additional tips for scaffold safety and winter safety to keep workers and sites safe when scaffolding is being used – especially in winter.

Sound Scaffolding

There are a handful of hazards to consider when referring to scaffolding. Naturally, the workers themselves must always practice caution and be knowledgeable as to safe methods of scaffolding work (see below), but the scaffolding itself must be safe, as well.

Some considerations include the following:

  • Scaffolding too close to a power line can cause workers to be electrocuted.
  • The area must be safe for anyone working below and discourage nonworkers from lingering.
  • The structure could collapse or cause personnel to fall if planks are weak or loose, or if they break or shift.
  • Scaffolding itself must be provided by a reputable company experienced in the industry. The materials from which the scaffolding is made must be high quality and dependable, as well. What’s more, the scaffolding type should be appropriate to the purpose for which it is being used.
  • Untrained personnel on scaffolding is an open invitation for disaster.

Equipment, materials, and even personnel may fall if stringent standards are not applied and continuously met.

General Scaffold Safety

Very generally speaking, here are some safety tips that apply to scaffolding:

  • Only fully licensed individuals should be used for both scaffolding erection/disassembling and to work on and/or around the scaffolding.
  • Always climb responsibly.
  • Make sure that heavy equipment and all vehicles are clear of the scaffolding.
  • Inspect, and then inspect again. Equipment and the site are both included here.
  • Scaffolding should always be made from quality materials and properly assembled by qualified professionals.
  • Make sure everyone knows relevant standards and regulations.
  • Pay close attention to load limits.
  • Proper safety equipment should always be used (fall arrest equipment, nonslip footgear, hardhats, etc.).

Pay close attention to weather conditions… Which brings us to another point. Staying safe in winter.

Winter Safety

Now that you been introduced to some of the finer points of scaffold safety in general, let’s discuss winter safety.

Snow and Ice – Generally speaking, scaffolding, when constructed by competent, licensed individuals and made from quality materials, should withstand the weight of ice and snow (once fully assembled). This is not to say, however, that ice and snow shouldn’t be cleared from areas of scaffolding where workers will be present. Naturally, it must be done safely and properly.

Frostbite – Another area of concern here would include the possibility of frostbite, the importance of staying warm, etc. When temperatures are dropping and climates get cold, frostbite is always a major problem. Appropriate for the weather, correct clothing should always be worn. What’s more, nonslip boots or shoes will help workers stay secure on what could be slippery scaffolding. Parts of the body that are most susceptible to frostbite include the following:

  • Lips
  • Nose
  • Ears
  • Feet
  • Hands

If any of these extremities start to feel extremely cold and/or painful, they must be warmed ASAP.

Equipment Cleanup – Especially if they might be hidden by snow or ice, equipment and tools should always be cleaned up when workers are done with them to avoid tripping, falling, tools dropping on people below, etc.

Guardrails – To prevent falls, guardrails should always be present, especially because platforms can be slippery in winter.

Starr Industries, LLC A Company That Believes in Safety and Customer Satisfaction

At Starr Industries, while customer satisfaction is of the utmost concern, so is the safety of our team and our clients. Our teams are comprised of scaffold professionals with experience in modification, installation, design, and fabrication of all systems. We are 100% OSHA compliant. Our clients can count on us to deliver innovative, incredible, and safe solutions designed to any load requirements and specifications.

If you’d like a quote or want to know more about scaffolds, please feel free to contact us at Starr Industries. You can reach us by calling 646-756-4648, or use our convenient online form to get in touch with representatives. (Our email is office@starrindustriesllc.com.)

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