My dad and all his brothers are in the building trades, and I always knew I wanted to have a job like them. I can't imagine staying inside all day and slaving away in front of a computer screen. As soon as I could I started on my apprenticeship so I could get qualified and start earning the big bucks. I am going to be a roofer like dad, and maybe I'll take over his business one day. It's a slog getting through your apprenticeship, but I can see how dad has turned out, and it makes all seem worthwhile. I want to follow in his footsteps.
One key part of scaffolding training involves developing the knowledge and skills you need to check that the poles you are about to construct are in good condition. Below is a guide which will help you to learn 4 tell-tale signs that the scaffolding you are planning to use is unsafe.
Before you erect a piece of scaffolding, you should first lay out the individual parts on the ground so you can inspect them. Laying out the parts will allow you to check that you have the correct number of components and that each part of the scaffold is matched with a sister part which it will mirror. On a busy worksite, it is not unusual for pieces of scaffolding to go missing or to get mixed up with other types of bars. Constructing a scaffold which is missing parts or which is constructed using the wrong components is a recipe for disaster which could result in a serious injury or death.
Bent or damaged parts
Once you are certain that you have the correct components, should inspect them for damage. If you find that any of the metal poles which form the scaffold are bent out of shape or damaged in any way, you should stop what you are doing and report it to the site manager. There should be replacement parts onsite which can be used in place of the misshapen or damaged poles. You should never on any account use damaged poles to construct a scaffold. Doing so places your life and the lives of your workmates at risk.
If scaffolding has been used to create a platform on which painting will take place, it is quite possible that liquid paint will drip down onto the surface of the scaffold. This can cause two problems. Firstly, patches of paint which dry on the scaffolding boards can cause the surface to become slippy when wet. Secondly, if paint drys on the metal poles, it can prevent them from fitting together and locking in place.
If scaffolding is overloaded, the vertical poles will begin to bow. If you notice this, you should raise the alarm immediately. To avoid this, when the scaffold is complete, you should clearly display the maximum load it is capable of handling on every entry point. The maximum load will depend on the type and size of the scaffold, but will typically be listed on paperwork held by the foreman or site manager.
If you would like to find out more about scaffold safety, you should contact a trade school near you.