Fall accidents are a work hazard that scaffolders always have to contend with. Falling from a great height can result in a permanent injury, disability, or even death. There’s a need to carefully examine and address the hazards to minimise, if not eliminate, the risk of scaffolding-related accidents. One of the best ways to curtail the risk of scaffolding accidents is by ensuring that workers wear essential personal protective equipment.
Every construction site is unique in hazards and risks. Beyond the training, control measures, and safety regulations, it is imperative that workers always refer to the onsite ‘Safe Work Method Statement’ to determine the correct mandatory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for scaffolding works on site.
Here is a simple overview of the most common types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or safety equipment used on scaffolding works.
Falling objects are a common occurrence on construction sites which requires everyone including visitors to wear a hard hat.
A hard hat is mainly designed to protect the head, eyes, and neck from major injuries. Aside from falling objects, a safety helmet can also protect workers from low ceiling collisions, rainfall, direct exposure to the sun's rays, and even electric shocks.
Safety helmets can also be fitted with a visor, ear protectors, chin strap, and insulating pads for user comfort. More advanced accessories such as a headlamp, cameras, and even radios can be attached if needed in the workplace.
No matter how common or advanced your hard hat is, make sure that it is always in good condition.
High visibility clothing plays an important role in a busy site where people and vehicles mingle. In order for workers to stay clearly visible at all times on a construction site, luminous yellow and orange vests popularly known as high visibility jackets must be worn. This clothing alert other workers and moving machinery of your presence especially when there is poor lighting condition such as night time or winter.
The Health and Safety Executive reported that construction injuries account for trips, slips, and falls. This makes protective footwear such as non-slip steel toe cap boots a legal requirement when working on site.
Though heavy and a bit uncomfortable, non-slip steel toe cap boots protect worker's feet from moving or rolling objects, objects that can pierce the shoe sole, falling debris, and provide a non-slip surface while working on scaffold platforms.
It is necessary to note however that protective footwear is only a secondary measure that intends to prevent or reduce the severity of an injury when an accident arises on site. In order for the footwear to be effective, it is necessary to ensure that the boots fit, and relatively comfortable while protecting your feet.
Read our other helpful article: Safety Tips for Working with Scaffolding
Exposure under the blazing UV rays of the sun can also cause heat illness such as sunburn, heatstroke, or even skin cancer to construction workers. The only way to prevent this to happen is to cover as much skin as possible.
Though applicable only during the summer months when UV radiation is the strongest, some construction companies require scaffold workers to wear long sleeves and pants to protect them from the harmful effect of the sun's rays. With the right kind of material, weave, and color along with a sunscreen, the number of UV rays coming from the sun may be reflected or blocked to minimize the hazards it may cause. Building a temporary shade is also an efficient way to protect the workers from overexposure.
Scaffolding work also exposes the eyes and the face specifically when doing grinding, cutting, or welding tasks. These jobs require a worker to wear eyes and face protection such as goggles or safety glasses and visors. Face protection can be a part of the hard hats as an accessory while safety goggles are used to prevent particles, fragments, or even sparks from striking into the eyes of the worker. An effective eye and face protection should fit properly, provide unrestricted vision, and comfortable to wear.
Construction works like scaffolding expose a worker's hands vulnerable to harmful materials, sharp objects, works that causes abrasion and heat just like when operating machinery and other equipment. Thus, hand protection in the form of hand gloves is required to avoid cuts, burns, or wounds your hands might suffer.
Depending on the job there is a range of gloves available for different tasks, such as rubber gloves, welding gloves, high visibility gloves, and insulated gloves. The material and design of each glove are unique making it suitable for every single job they are used for.
Scaffolding tasks beginning from erection to dismantling creates quite a high level of excessive noise. This might cause permanent ringing sound in the ears or even hearing loss. To ensure that the worker's hearing is protected, earplugs and mufflers must be worn.
Electronic earplugs designed with a noise-canceling technology from the equipment and amazingly allow human voice-hearing is the best hearing protection equipment at present. This ensures complete hearing protection against high decibel sounds while keeping conversations allowed to be heard. Though often overlooked, hearing protection is vital safety equipment nevertheless.
Scaffolding Hire from CanDo
The use of these essential personal protective equipment for scaffolders, not only will be the mandatory requirement in construction sites will be met, but workers will also have an additional layer of safety when working at height. Whether you’re a supervisor or a worker using scaffoldings, make sure that proper wearing of PPE is observed on a daily basis.
Aside from the personal protective equipment, you also need to ensure that the scaffolding you are using is safe, secured, and of the best quality. If you require scaffolding hire on the Gold Coast, Northern Rivers, and the greater Brisbane area, CanDo is the best provider that can help you.
CanDo offers a comprehensive range of scaffolding hire services that will definitely help you save money and time. Our services include residential edge protection, commercial edge protection, lightweight scaffolding, steel scaffolding, stair access towers, void protection platforms hire, and fixed and mobile scaffold towers hire. We also offer site advisory services so you can get the scaffolding solution for your needs at a fixed price.