Construction often requires workers to do their job far above the ground. Instead of teetering on top of ladders, it is common practice for workers to use scaffolding to reach the worksite. Scaffolding is better than ladders in a number of ways.
A single scaffolding unit can support multiple workers safely and provide a broad base from which to work. It can also have guardrails and other safety devices, such as points of connection for safety harnesses. Scaffolding can also be built up over time to allow for safe access to ever hire work sites at a job. Unfortunately, scaffolding also presents some risk of injury to those working on construction sites.
Each time a company assembles scaffolding, the potential exists to do something incorrectly. There is also the wear and tear that occurs over the lifespan of the individual components used in the scaffolding. Boards can fail due to weathering or overuse.
Each time a company installs scaffolding, a competent person should manage and monitor the process. Individual components should receive an inspection for strength, and the assembled scaffold should be more than adequate to support the weight of the workers involved.
It is impossible to predict exactly what will occur or go wrong on a construction site but knowing the most common issues associated with scaffolding can help you stay safer if you have to use it as part of your job.
Falls are obviously the biggest risk, so proper construction and handrails play an important role in keeping workers safe. There is also the risk that results from weather, such as high winds or slippery surfaces after precipitation. Scaffolding also presents a risk to the people below the scaffolding if the workers above drop supplies or tools.