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Working on raised scaffolding is more dangerous than it may seem

When you show up on a construction site for the day, you'll immediately turn your attention to the task at hand. Depending on the job, you may find that you'll spend a good portion of time working on raised scaffolding.

Even if you have many years of experience working at height, a simple mistake by you or a co-worker can cause serious injury or even death. And that's why you should obtain as much knowledge as possible regarding the steps you can take to maintain your safety.

Here are five safety tips for working on raised scaffolding:

  • Inspect before use: It may not be something you personally do, but make sure someone else inspects the scaffolding. Neglecting to do so can result in overlooking a defect or damage that can result in a collapse.
  • Understand the load capacity: Yes, scaffolding is naturally sturdy, but that doesn't mean it can take on as much weight as you throw at it. Exceeding the load capacity increases the risk of a collapse, so know this number and keep it in mind at all times.
  • Secure the scaffolding: It's easy to overlook this step, especially if you're not working too high on scaffolding. However, if you neglect to secure the scaffolding to the building, the system loses some of its stability.
  • Use guardrails: A fall from height can sometimes be avoided through the use of guardrails, as these are designed to keep you from falling off the edge. Any scaffolding over 10 feet in height should have guardrails on three sides.
  • Remain organized: As the day goes by, it's easy for the platform to become littered with debris, tools and other items. A lack of organization increases the chance of tripping and falling.

Although working on raised scaffolding is dangerous, it doesn't have to be if you follow these safety tips.

In the event of an accident and injury, call 911 to ensure immediate treatment and transportation to a local hospital. Also, report the incident to your employer and file a claim for workers' compensation benefits should you be unable to return to work in the near future.

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