When hiring scaffolding, it is important to know the inspection processes and how scaffolding is maintained for a safe worksite.
Scaffolding Maintenance and Inspections
Scaffolding is the cornerstone of almost any construction project. A well implemented scaffolding system provides two major benefits. The first is work efficiency, it provides access and ease of work. Secondly, scaffolding is paramount to worker safety. This cannot be understated. It provides a platform that is stable for workers to be able to focus on the task at hand, without worrying about having to precariously balance while doing so.
But safety on the worksite is only as good as its weakest link. With scaffolding playing such a vital role in a construction project, it definitely is a VERY big link, so you want to ensure that everything is being done to keep it in proper working order. Inspection and scaffolding maintenance are key tasks on the front line to keep a safe and efficient worksite.
It is important to design procedures that can be implemented to ensure that scaffolding is fit for use at all times. The inspection of scaffolding needs to be conducted by professionals who are trained in ensuring the integrity of the scaffolding. For suspended, spur, cantilever or hung scaffolding (or any other scaffold from which a person or object could fall more than 4m) the following must occur:
- The scaffolding, as well as its supporting structure must not be used unless there is written confirmation from a certified, competent person that specifies that they have inspected the scaffolding and the assembly of the scaffold is complete.
- This inspection needs to be potentially repeated under a few different scenarios:
- Before the scaffold is used after an incident has occurred that may affect the structural integrity of the scaffolding
- Before the scaffolding is used after repairs
- Every 30 days at a minimum
- In the instance where an inspection indicates that a scaffold or its supporting structure creates a potential risk to health and safety, any necessary repairs, additional or alterations need to be made. After so, the scaffolding once again needs to be inspected by a competent person before it can be used again.
- Access needs to be restricted if scaffolding is incomplete or unattended.
After a scaffolding system has been correctly erected, it is time for a handover inspection to take place. This inspection ensures that everything is safe and secure and the scaffolding is ready to be used. After this has been completed by a qualified person, a handover certificate will be given as evidence. In the event that there are any repairs or alterations that need to be made to the scaffolding system, another handover inspection will have to occur as well as issuing another handover certificate.
It is recommended that this handover certificate is kept on the worksite until the scaffolding system has been dismantled.
It is crucial that thorough and regular post-handover inspections are conducted after the scaffolding has been erected and in use. The regularity of these checks is dependent on the size of the scaffolding system, how often it is in use and the conditions that the scaffolding is subjected to. These inspections needed to take place for higher scaffolding at least once every 30 days. If you are unsure about the minimum requirements for inspecting your scaffolding, it’s best to contact the designer or supplier of the system.
Scaffolding inspection and maintenance should also be conducted on all the stored scaffolding elements too, not just the components that are in use. Any components that are stored in places that expose them to weather elements have the potential to degrade and compromise the integrity of the entire scaffolding system.
Keep up to date inspection records that contain all relevant information such as the location, date and time of the inspection, the person who carried out the inspection, and any relevant notes or comments.
To help run a tight ship and make inspections easier, it’s best to plan ahead. One vital step in doing so is to ensure that scaffolding is stored in a location that is out of the elements when it is being stored. Safe storage is assisted by ensuring that scaffolding is correctly dismantled to avoid any unnecessary repairs or replacements when it comes time to reassemble the scaffolding again. Having a well organised system of storage will allow for quick and efficient scaffolding assembly when it is time to use it again.
After it has been dismantled, all scaffolding and its components need to be cleaned. This can be done using a hose or a power washer. This ensures that any foreign objects such as paint, stucco, mud or any other materials are removed before the scaffolding is stored. If a power washer doesn’t provide enough power to remove all foreign objects, you may have to resort to a sander.
Cleaning and sorting the scaffolding components will allow you to accurately assess what needs to be repaired or replaced. No matter how high quality the scaffolding used is, heavy loads and multiple uses will lead to wear and tear. This is perfectly normal, but it is crucial that you keep an eye on the degradation of your components. It is imperative to replace or repair these components to maintain a safe working environment.
While it’s best to store scaffolding out of the elements, it’s unavoidable that scaffolding isn’t exposed to different weather conditions when in use.This can lead to rust or deterioration. Because scaffolding parts and components need to be functional throughout the lifespan of a project, using WD-40 or a similar product on nuts, bolts and any other moving/removable parts will greatly enhance the lifespan of your equipment. This is because the lubrication prevents rust and corrosion.
When hiring scaffolding systems, you want to ensure that you are dealing with an experienced team with a stellar record for safety on the worksite. This means that you can trust these certified professionals to ensure that all the correct inspection procedures are being carried out and that the scaffolding system and its components are in a well maintained condition. South Pacific Scaffolding are known throughout the construction industry for their tight-knit procedures when it comes to maintaining their equipment and providing peace of mind that everything is safe and in working order with their meticulous inspection protocols. If you are looking to hire high quality scaffolding for your next construction project, get in contact with the team at South Pacific Scaffolding today!