Scaffolding foundations – key to scaffold safety

Why pickin’ up good foundations is key to scaffold safety.

Anyone who uses scaffolding on a regular basis will know that it
feels most safe and secure when you know you are on a good
foundation. Foundations are essential and the most carefully
assembled and engineered scaffold is not safe without them.

The HSE frequently notes, that the most common workplace injuries are caused by manual
handling, slips, trips and falls from height. These accidents are
often avoidable when the correct safety measures are taken.
However, some workers think that it’s enough to simply adjust the
legs of scaffolding to the correct height, which is not the
case.

Importance of Foundations

Scaffolds must always be used on a firm foundation. In addition, the foundations
need to be strong enough to hold the combined weight of the
scaffolding, workers and tools, for the required period of time.
Therefore, steps should always be taken to secure the scaffold,
ensuring it is erected and dismantled by fully trained
workers.

What Makes a Good Foundation?

Scaffolding can be used on concrete or a very hard surface without
base plates, but they are recommended. When using scaffoldings on
places such as pavements and tarmac, base plates will always be
needed. Mud sills are an option too. Any additional bracing used
should also be secured to prevent it coming loose when under
stress.

You should regularly check the area where you are working at
height at least daily. A scaffold set up a month ago, or even
longer, may have since become unsafe.

Ladder Safety and Stabilisers

It’s not just scaffolding that needs to be used with a solid
foundation, ladders can be just as dangerous. Our ladder stabiliser is a tool designed for use on
uneven ground and is a worthwhile investment in safety. It comes
with steel ground spikes and fits on every ladder that has straight
parallel beams.

When working up a ladder and you don’t have a second person to
‘foot’ the ladder, a Zarges Ladder Stop is very useful. It is made
of a heavy-duty rubber base and prevents the ladder from slipping
and flipping out from underneath you.

Before you next work at height (on scaffold or a ladder), think
about whether or not the foundations are solid enough. Your safety
is most important. At Sterk Systems we have a wide range of
equipment available for working at height. If you require any help
and advice we will be happy to help you pick up some good, good,
good, good vibrations!