Keeping Safe When Using Scaffold in Travel-Inspired Home Improvement Projects

Keeping Safe When Using Scaffold in Travel-Inspired Home Improvement Projects

While traveling in Europe, an interior design professional encountered some compelling ceiling and wall treatments that require more close up, detailed work by her own team of designers. She actually collected an array of ideas for ceilings while traveling across Europe, in Japan and Thailand, and in Australia.

Because of the need for close up work, the interior design professional realized that her team would be on scaffolding for extended period of time. This prompted the designer to spend some time researching scaffold use and safety in home redecorating and home improvement projects. Her objective in her research was to learn how to make the best use of scaffold to ensure quality work and to ensure that scaffold safety issues were addressed fully.

Shocking Statistics About Scaffold Accidents

The interior decorator who intends to incorporate scaffolding more regularly into the course of her business operations was stunned when she reviewed the statistics associated with scaffolding accidents and injuries. The stark reality is that scaffold accidents represent one of the most common types of work-related injuries in the United States. The statistics on scaffolding injuries, and deaths, do not include those incidents involving a homeowner who is undertaking some sort of project on his or her own.

Over 10,000 workers are injured annually in scaffold accidents. This includes workers dispatched to residences for home improvement projects, which is what the interior designer who did the research intends to do.

In addition to the thousands of people injured annually in scaffolding accidents, people are killed while using this equipment as well. On average, about 80 individuals are killed in scaffold accidents. Again, this does not include homeowners who are killed in scaffold accidents at their own homes.

Common Causes of Scaffold Accidents

The most common causes of a scaffold accident are planking or the support structure giving way, a worker slipping and falling, and a worker being struck by falling objects. Indeed, 72 percent of all scaffolding accidents are caused by one of these three things.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Scaffold Accidents

Because of the high incidences of scaffold accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration spends a great deal of time analyzing the causes of these types of incidents and exploring what can be done to prevent them. OSHA has concluded that over 50 percent of scaffolding accidents were preventable. For example, a scaffold was not appropriately assembled in the first instance, which resulted in planking or the support structure giving way.

OSHA has established specific standards and regulations regarding scaffold assembly and use. The agency maintains that if these guidelines were more closely followed by more employers, and others, who make use of scaffolding, the number of injuries and deaths associated with scaffold accidents would be reduced, and likely dramatically so.

Scaffolding and Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement Projects

A considerable segment of the population desires to undertake home improvement projects on their own. These individuals find themselves using scaffolding for a number of different types of projects, including those that the referenced interior designer wants to undertake following her travels.

There really is no reason to believe that the rate of injury associated with scaffolding used in a DIY project is markedly different from what is experienced on the professional scene.

When it comes to DIY home improvement projects that necessitate the use of scaffold, a homeowner or other person involved in this type of effort would be wise reviewing the guidelines for scaffold use. Although the rules and regs established for workers when it comes to scaffolding are not mandatory for a homeowner doing his or her own DIY homes improvement project, following these guidelines is a solid course to take.

A homeowner who wants to learn more about scaffolding safety can access information via the OSHA website. Indeed, a homeowner can access a full spectrum of occupational safety information that very well may have application to his or her own DIY project.

Of course, a homeowner needs to ensure that he or she utilizes all safety guidelines when using scaffolding. In addition, a homeowner preparing for a DIY project must be certain that the scaffold is appropriately assembled and placed in the first instance. In regard to scaffold assembly, a homeowner preparing for a DIY project very well may be served engaging the services of a professional for the assembly of necessary scaffolding. If a homeowner has never assembled scaffolding before, professional assistance oftentimes is wise to ensure structural safety. Oftentimes, a business that rents scaffolding does have assembly services.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.

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