Scaffolding Safety in Rain

“Slips and Trips” have been the predominant cause of injury for 16 years in a row; according to the NASC Safety Report 2021.

Rain makes scaffolding platforms slippery, scaffolding unstable (if not properly installed), and make working conditions significantly tougher.

1. Avoid using the scaffolding

The simplest, safest advice is to avoid using scaffolding when it’s raining, snowing or sleeting. If you’re able to, call of work until the bad weather stops. It will not only protect worker safety but health, morale and productivity.

2. Don’t rush when climbing

It’s obvious, sure but it’s easy to overlook. Always, always take care when climbing and never rush, even if you are in a hurry. If it has been raining, and even if it has stopped, always be cautious when climbing.

Scaffolding rungs can easily become slippery in the autumn and winter.

It’s common sense but worth remembering, only lift your foot when you know that the other foot is secure.

3. Turn the planks

Some scaffolding companies use slip-resistant scaffolding boards, but if you’re feeling the planks are getting too slippery then it’s best to turn them (if able). Keep an eye out after it has rained for several hours as boards tend to become more slippery as time goes on.

4. Sweep up More Often

Sweep away stagnant water, ice, snow and leaves before working. Ever slipped on a wet leaf before? You’ll know just how hazardous this can be; and ice is just self-explanatory.

5. Check the Scaffolding More Frequently

Scaffolding should be weather-resistant but you can never say it’s completely immune to the effects of adverse weather such as rain. Inspection of the scaffolding structure and all components should take place after any bad weather event. A scaffolding firm should do this for you.

6. Take more breaks

When we’re cold, wet or frustrated from bad weather we can become more prone to making mistakes. It’s a good idea to take more regular breaks in the rain to maintain productivity and worker safety.

7. Support the feet of the scaffolding

The ground where scaffolding structures are erected can become a problem after heavy downpours. Earth can move, become slippery or even sink. To prevent the scaffolding from sinking the feet should be placed on a strong, flat support such as wood.

8. Check the weather forecast more often

In the autumn and winter, it pays to check the weather forecast every day and be prepared to postpone work if necessary to protect worker safety.

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