How does a Good Scaffolding System play a major role in preventing unplanned events reflected in frequency and severity of the accidents?

Scaffolding System

A Safe Scaffolding System Can Help Prevent Accidents

J.K. Anand
J.K. Anand, Founder & Director ASK EHS Engineering Consultants, Surat, Gujarat
Scaffolding has been used ever since man began making buildings more than one storey high and needed to find a practical way of working at height. Although the materials and designs have changed over the centuries, the purpose of scaffolding remains the same – to provide a safe, temporary access and platform from which all types of construction, repair and maintenance work can be carried out. Initially, bamboos and ballies constituted primary materials for supporting work platforms to facilitate working at height. However, with the development in building and construction requirements and technological advancement, the need to look at other support materials for work platform became imperative.

Now-a-days, there are different types of scaffoldings, but usually they are all made up of the same basic components: tubes and boards. What actually varies much is the way of connecting the tubes together. In so-called tube-and-clamp system, tubes are attached to each other by special couplers. Fabricated frame system provides the ready-made frames, which only need to be braced to ensure the rigidity of the whole system. The most up-to-date modular systems feature special joints that simplify the assembly process. They also provide the rigidity of the joints in addition to high versatility of the whole system. Modular scaffolding can reach great heights, retracing the complex shape of structure.

Scaffolding offers a safer and more comfortable work arrangement compared to leaning over edges, stretching overhead and working from ladders. Suitable and sufficient scaffolding must be supplied for work at elevations that cannot be accomplished safely by other means. Properly erected and maintained, scaffolding provides workers a safe access to work locations, leveled and stable working platforms, and temporary storage place for tools and materials for performing immediate tasks.

Scaffolding Happens to be the Biggest Contributor of Accidents

Scaffolding accidents mainly include fall of people, incorrect operating procedures, environmental conditions, and falling of materials subsequent to equipment failure. The causes of scaffolding accidents include: failures at attachment points, parts failure, inadequate fall protection, improper construction or work process, application of irregular force and changing environmental conditions (high winds, temperature and weather extremes or the presence of toxic gases). Additionally, overloading of scaffolding is a frequent cause of major scaffold failure. Individuals exposed to scaffolding hazards include scaffold erectors and dismantlers, personnel working on scaffolds, and employees and the general public near scaffolding. Scaffold erectors and dismantlers are at particular risk, since they are required to work on scaffolds even before the supporting items such as ladders, guardrails, platforms, and planks are completely installed.
Injuries in Construction

Ensure the Safety & Quality in Scaffolding Work Through:

  • Competent, Certified & Experienced Manpower
  • Pre-assessment of all Scaffolding team members
  • Trained as per Method Statements
  • Tested and Certified Scaffold Materials
  • All materials inspected, Before & After Use
  • Working under Permit to Work System
  • Always execute the work under system
  • Job Hazards Assessment of each activity
  • A TMB conducted before starting the work
  • Follow the “Scaffolding Management Procedure”
  • Maintain Zero level of accidents/incidents
Risk Without Scaffolding

Scaffolding Standards & Statutory Norms, Which are Referred:

  • National Standards/Statutory norms:
    a. BOCW Central Rules,1998 –Part-III : Chapter XIX (Rules no.188 – 205)
    b. IS 2750 : Steel Scaffoldings
    c. IS 3696 : Safety code of scaffolds and ladders: Part 1 Scaffolds
    d. IS 3696 : Scaffolds and Ladders - Code of Safety - Part 2 : Ladders
    e. IS 4014 : Part 1 Code of practice for steel tubular scaffolding Part 1 Definitions and materials
    f. IS 4014 : Part 2 Code of Practice for Steel Tubular Scaffolding - Part II : Safety Regulations for Scaffolding
  • International Standards:
    g. BS EN 12811 and BS EN 12810 - TG20: 08 - Technical Guidance on the use of BS EN12811-1
    h. OSHA : 29 CFR Part 1926: Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry
    i. ANSI/ASSE A10.8-2001, Scaffolding Safety Requirements
Safe Scaffold Erection

We aspire, prepare and deserve to be the fore-runner service provider in scaffolding industry:

With its modest inception in 2007, ASK-EHS Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd., SURAT, India has progressed to a position of very high prominence and competence within the Scaffolding Industry at the national level catering to Construction, Operation, and Building & Services Sectors. Specializing in training & competence building, erection / upkeep / inspection; hire & Sale of System Scaffolding, the company has constantly strived to set and maintain the very highest of standards in safety & quality of Scaffold Components and Assembly.

Having already raised a large skilled and competent technician force of Scaffolders / Scaffold inspectors, we continue to strive and contribute further in this highly demanded skilled trade, maintaining safety and health as its core-value.

With highly skilled scaffolding work force supervised and managed by competent scaffolding experts, ASK-EHS Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd. continues to supply, erect, hire and sell high-profile scaffolds in national & multinational companies. Due to vulnerable nature of the construction industry, health, safety and quality emerge as the most important factors, and it goes to our credit that we have maintained an impeccable Safety & Health record of accident-free working. We can assist any industry to fully comply with all Health & Safety requirements on Scaffolding from the initial project enquiry to project completion.

All our scaffolding staff is well-trained and skilled. We carry out continuous assessment and improvements on our safety systems with both our clients and scaffolders, since we stand committed to uncompromised safety.

The concluding lines.

Access management, which essentially includes scaffolding as the main means of approach, is of vital importance for all sectors –industrial as well as civilian, operation, and construction.

India, as the emerging economy in all sectors, is going to build massive infra-structures which require the management to provide stable and strong scaffolding, intrinsically very safe and sound, from planning to execution – which in turn demands trained, skilled and competent scaffold-personnel for its erection, upkeep, inspection and also demolition. Inter-alia, India needs quality service-providers for all facets of scaffolding Industry.

No compromise on this account shall be wise for industries as a pie invested for safe scaffolding is going to save more than 100 pies and precious life and limbs of the skilled manpower which are the back-bone of our society. Let us remember–accident prevented is benefaction whereas, accident compensated is a mere apology.
NBM&CW March 2013
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