Scaffolding was once used only within the construction industry, but even domestic users and a range of other users are interested in it as well. By and large, this is a positive development, but it did bring about the issue of how to maintain scaffolding safety. Construction workers are trained in staying safe, but the industries mentioned below have very few links to construction materials. Let’s take a look at some of the industries that now use scaffolding and how they address safety.
Industries that Use Scaffolding
- Film sets uses scaffolding very regularly. There are several safety issues relating to this. The first is that the scaffolding often has to be placed on very uneven terrain. Secondly, as sets change, the towers have to be moved about as well.
- Public events are also common locations for these towers. As public events are becoming larger, spaces have to be set up in a way that is convenient for the speakers, for instance. Furthermore, the towers are regularly used to manage access to the space where the event is being held. Again, there are some inherent safety issues with this, with the biggest one being that members of the public may try to climb on them.
- Domestic properties, with more and more people now renovating their properties as a DIY project, rather than asking the professionals to do it for them. This is generally done in an effort to save money, which is very understandable. The safety issues with domestic users installing, moving, climbing, and working from these towers are so numerous that they are impossible to list.
Scaffolding is very commonly seen and used, and this has given people a false sense of security. They forget just how important it is to set it up properly, to run regular maintenance checks, and to use it in the correct manner. So how is this addressed? One way is that many scaffolding companies now do not allow users to move, set up, or check the equipment themselves, sending someone in to do this for them. Unfortunately, people often don’t have the patience for this (particularly in film sets and residential properties) and will still do things themselves. Some companies have now started to void any security deposit that is paid on the scaffolding tower in an effort to stop people from doing things in an unsafe manner. For public events, there are usually conditions to the rental of the towers, such as having security staff near the towers at all times. All towers also have to have notices on them to warn people not to climb on them. Lastly, the ladder that is needed to enable people to climb onto the scaffolding towers has to be removed when no one is attending to the towers.
The fact that scaffolding is unsafe is undeniable. There are many rules and regulations regulating the safety, but these are sometimes not followed. Human nature seems to be to break the rules, and companies can only hope that they start to understand the tremendous dangers they put themselves in.