Scaffolding Safety for Commercial and Industrial Painting Projects
Posted Jun 21, 2019 by Dave Scaturro
"Safety" is not just a word the sales department uses to seal the deal. Safety is a belief and process that is evaluated every day, on each job, to prevent injuries or death to our valued workforce. Safety should be the top priority for not only your employees, but for those that are in and around the areas of the job site.
When it comes to working on scaffolding within an industrial or commercial setting, it is vitally important to make sure it is completed with the highest standards in mind.
Working in and around an industrial or commercial painting project requires working in areas that can be considered hazardous or restrictive at times. Painting contractors may be working in places such as manufacturing buildings, warehouses, natural gas facilities, piping systems, power plants, steel structures and water tanks as depicted in the image above. These are merely a sampling of the locations where scaffolding can be applied.
Scaffolding & Safety Regulations
There are clear safety regulations that must be followed when using scaffolding protocols, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations. These regulations are precise as to the steps required when erecting, using and taking down scaffolding systems.
Each type of scaffolding is used for particular purposes. The different types include:
Even though businesses must follow OSHA guidelines, the elite professional painting contractors take it one step further and add additional instructions and training to better protect their workers.
Setting Up Your Scaffolding
It is required that only those trained personell be allowed to erect any scaffolding structure. To avoid breakdown of your structure during your project, intense care must be taken. Setting up requires that the scaffolding is placed on a surface that has the ability to support it. This particular area has to be able to bear the weight of not only the scaffolding structure, but the additional weight of those that will be working on it and the weight of materials.
When setting up the scaffolding structure, it's important to place safety precautions in like guardrails, midrails and towboards to keep workers safe. These are to be deployed when your scaffolding is ten feet or higher. Other forms of safety guards that can be used are harnesses and lifelines.
Part of the set up process involves inspecting the scaffolding once it is completely setup. Inspections should only be done by a trained person who has been trained on the OSHA regulations, and knows what to look for in the event something incorrect.
After the examination has been completed, a sticker must be placed showing that it qualifies for use. If no tag is shown even if it passes inspection, the scaffolding is not to be used.
Each day the scaffold is to be used an examination by a qualified person is to be carried out ensuring its complete safety. The inspections do not stop when the work is done either, as it is also expected when the scaffolding is being taken down as well. After all, it is the lives of those that are working on or around the scaffoldings that you hold in your hands!
Dealing with scaffolding is not as easy as it might seem, and if managed incorrectly it could end up costing you a pretty penny in workers comp or legal fees as a result of safety violations.
Best case scenario, hire qualified commercial or industrial painting contractors who have a history of safe, quality project management when scaffolding is required.