After a very unpredictable Summer, we’re soon to have a very unpredictable Autumn and Winter – which could cause dramatic weather conditions for Scaffolders and scaffolding. Here is what you need to consider as we head into the colder and darker months of 2019.
Poor Weather Conditions
Okay, so we could have an Indian Summer – the type of weather that only usually occurs every several years, but don’t forget that Rain, Snow and Ice are most common in these months, which can cause objects to fall or become dangerous to use. We’ve already started experiencing storms this August and there will surely be plenty more to come so it is important that you put procedures in place well in advance. Ensure that wet areas on Scaffolding are clearly marked with signs and cleared up as soon as possible, and that items susceptible to strong winds are regularly checked and secured in place.
Being outside and exposed to the cold can also put your health at risk so you need to wrap up warm with hats and thick, fleeced jackets when possible. But, also remember to keep on your PPE such as hi-vis and hard hats when working on Scaffolding.
Make sure that you check the weather forecast every day so that you can prepare for any storms and, if the weather becomes too extreme and dangerous, then the best thing to do is postpone work until it clears up. For more information, you can call us on 01564 75 75 75
Weathering of scaffolding
Weather is not only a danger because it causes slippery surface, flying debris and exposes you to illness, but it can be hazardous to Scaffolding itself and make it less secure for workers. Falling ill due to extreme weather such as, a cold, flu or head cold can cause your reactions to be slower, something that you don’t need when you are working at heights on Scaffolding – taking a misstep due to low concentration can be dangerous and could also be the cause of death!
Though most scaffolding systems are built to withstand all weather conditions you should still increase your inspections when there are more severe weather conditions such as storms, snow and very strong winds. Even the sturdiest of structures can become fragile in 60+ mph winds. We recommend that you use a harness to protect yourselves in case such strong winds cause you to fall off the scaffolding
Bring me Sunshine… Please?!
We’ve enjoyed the late nights of the summer, but now it’s going to start getting darker during the evening. This means, if you’re working till 6pm you’re going to need to be careful and watch your step as visibility will be limited! Again, this makes you more susceptible to trips and slips, walking into objects or being hit by moving vehicles. Scaffolding is made with wood and metal, so during the colder nights when frost and ice is more than likely to appear – the surface will be incredibly slippery, just watch your step, we don’t want hear the Wilhelm Scream as you fall off the edge.
One method of risk management would be to display clear and visible warning signs on the premises to highlight any dangers that might be more difficult to see when it’s dark.
You should also make sure that materials are not left lying around to create trip hazards and that hi-vis jackets are worn at all times so that everybody on site is visible even in darkness.