On the 19th August, another Scaffolding structure collapsed in Gosford New South Wales (NSW) that injured a woman and caused property damage to several vehicles. It was only luck preventing someone being more seriously hurt.
It is a timely reminder to all employers or persons conducting business or undertaking that they must, so far as is reasonably practicable, identify any task that an worker is required to undertake at a workplace that involves a fall hazard including on any plant or structure being constructed, demolished, inspected, tested, maintained or repaired.
The applicable health and safety legislation definitions describe a scaffold as a means of a temporary structure specifically erected to support access or working platforms. Scaffolding work means the erection, alteration or dismantling of a scaffold, if the scaffold is such that a person or object could fall more than 4 metres from the scaffold.
Over the years in the safety industry and undertaking workplace inspections of various construction projects, there have been times where scaffolding has been inadequate with not meeting the applicable standards, such as AS/NZS 4576 - Guidelines for Scaffolds and AS 1576 (series): Scaffolding.
Some of the general observations include, but are not limited to:
Various safety regulators have provided safety guidance information for the management of scaffolding that should be implemented.
Let us ensure the objects and principles of the health and safety legislation are enshrined into your projects.