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Safety Do's and Don'ts When Using Rolling Scaffold Towers

Updated: 2 days ago


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Rolling Tower - Coors Field, Denver, CO

Safety is no accident, especially when working with rolling scaffold towers. These structures are crucial for a variety of construction and maintenance projects, providing the necessary height and stability.


However, improper use can lead to serious accidents or injuries. This blog post aims to guide you through the essential do's and don'ts for using rolling scaffold towers safely.


Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the field, understanding these safety measures can help prevent mishaps and ensure a secure working environment.









Why Scaffold Safety Matters


The Importance of Proper Use

Scaffold towers are indispensable in many industries, but their misuse can result in catastrophic outcomes. Understanding the importance of proper use can save lives and avoid costly mistakes. Rolling scaffold towers reduce labor costs by allowing the scaffold to be quickly relocated instead of dismantling and re-erecting the scaffold.  When used correctly, rolling scaffold towers provide a stable platform for workers to perform tasks at heights, reducing the risk of falls and other accidents.


Common Accidents and Their Causes

Many accidents involving scaffold towers are preventable. Common causes include improper assembly, overloading, and neglecting to lock the casters. By recognizing these pitfalls, workers can take proactive steps to avoid them.


For example, always ensuring that the scaffold is assembled according to the manufacturer's instructions can significantly reduce the likelihood of structural failure.


Regulatory Standards and Compliance

Adhering to regulatory standards is not just about legal compliance; it is about maintaining a safe work environment. Organizations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) provide guidelines that help ensure scaffolds are used safely. Familiarizing yourself with these standards can keep you and your team safe while avoiding legal repercussions.


Choosing the Right Scaffold Tower


Types of Scaffold Towers

Understanding the diverse types of scaffold towers can help you choose the right one for your project. Rolling scaffold towers are ideal for tasks that require mobility, while fixed towers offer more stability for long-term projects. Assessing your specific needs will guide you in selecting the most suitable option.


Material Considerations

The material of your scaffold tower plays a critical role in its safety and durability. Aluminum is lightweight and resistant to corrosion, making it a popular choice. Steel, on the other hand, offers greater strength and is better suited for heavier loads. Evaluating the pros and cons of each material can help you make an informed decision.


Load Capacity and Limitations

Every scaffold tower has a maximum load capacity that should never be exceeded. Overloading can lead to structural failure and accidents. Always check the manufacturer's specifications and ensure that the combined weight of workers, tools, and materials does not exceed this limit. When dealing with rolling scaffolds extra care must be taken to not overload the rating of the caster.


Assembly Tips


Following Manufacturer Instructions

The first step in ensuring scaffold safety is proper assembly. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions meticulously. These guidelines are designed to ensure the scaffold is assembled correctly and safely, minimizing the risk of structural issues.


Using the Right Tools

Using the appropriate tools for assembly is crucial. This includes wrenches, levels, and measuring tapes to ensure the scaffold is put together accurately. Skipping steps or using incorrect tools can compromise the scaffold's integrity, leading to potential accidents. You can hire professional erecting and dismantling services to assemble your scaffolding.


Inspecting Components

Before assembly, inspect all components for damage or wear. Damaged parts can weaken the structure, increasing the risk of accidents. Replacing any compromised parts before use is essential to maintaining a safe scaffold tower.


Stability and Support


Ground Conditions

The ground on which you place your scaffold tower must be a solid surface that can withstand the combined weight of the scaffold and it’s load carrying capacity. Uneven or soft ground can cause the scaffold to tip over. Using adjustable screw jacks designed for caster use will help to stabilize the scaffold on uneven surfaces.


Bracing

Proper bracing is required for maintaining scaffold stability. Each scaffold leg must be braced to at least one other leg. Always use the recommended bracing techniques and materials for your specific scaffold model.


Locking Wheels / Casters

One of the key features of rolling scaffold towers is their mobility. However, this can also be a safety hazard if the casters are not locked during use. Always ensure that all casters are locked to prevent accidental movement while workers are on the scaffold.


Safe Usage Practices


Climbing and Descending

Climbing and descending a rolling scaffold tower should be done with caution. Use designated ladders or suitable access style frame and use the crossbrace as a means of access. Maintaining three points of contact and facing the ladder or frame can prevent falls and ensure safe transitions.


Working at Height

The guardrail system must be in place when working from rolling scaffolds above 10-feet in height (Federal OSHA). The guardrail system can protect workers from falls, which are one of the most common causes of scaffold-related injuries.


Handling Tools and Materials

Properly handling tools and materials while on a scaffold is crucial to maintaining balance and preventing accidents. Use tool belts or hoists to lift materials, keeping your hands free for stability. This can reduce the risk of dropping items or losing your balance.


Maintenance and Inspections


Regular Inspections

Routine inspections are essential for maintaining scaffold safety. Check the scaffold daily before use, looking for signs of wear, damage, or instability. Regular inspections can catch potential issues before they become serious problems. These inspections must be made under the supervision of a competent person.


Repairing Damages

Any damage to a scaffold tower should be repaired immediately. Using a damaged scaffold can compromise safety and lead to accidents. Always have a competent person determine the need for repairs, including access to replacement parts and qualified personnel.


Cleaning and Storage

Proper cleaning and storage of your scaffold tower can extend its lifespan and maintain its safety. Remove any debris or buildup that can cause wear, and store the scaffold in a dry, sheltered area to prevent corrosion and damage.


Training and Certification


Importance of Training

Training is a critical component of scaffold safety. Workers must be trained on proper assembly, use, capacity, and maintenance of scaffold towers. This training can prevent accidents and ensure that everyone knows how to use the scaffold safely.


Certification Programs

Action Scaffold and Equipment Co offers certification programs for scaffold use. These programs provide in-depth training and certify that workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to use scaffolds safely. Investing in certification can enhance workplace safety and compliance.


Continuous Learning

The field of scaffold safety is continually evolving, with new products and regulations emerging regularly. Continuous learning and staying updated on the latest safety practices can help maintain a safe working environment.


Emergency Preparedness


Creating an Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan in place is essential for scaffold safety. This plan should include procedures for dealing with accidents, injuries, and other emergencies. Regular drills and training can ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.


First Aid and Medical Support

Ensuring that first aid kits and medical support are readily available can make a significant difference in an emergency. Trained personnel should be on hand to provide immediate assistance, and all workers should know where to find first aid supplies.


Communication Systems

Effective communication is crucial during an emergency. Having a reliable communication system in place can help coordinate response efforts and ensure that everyone is informed and safe. This can include radios, mobile phones, and designated communication protocols.

For further assistance and expert guidance, consider reaching out to professional training and certification programs. Stay informed, stay safe, and keep building a safer future.


Ready to Elevate Your Next Project?

At Action Equipment and Scaffold Company, we understand the critical role that high-quality scaffolding plays in the success of your construction projects.


Whether you are undertaking a small renovation or managing a large-scale commercial build, our frame scaffolding solutions are designed to meet your needs with unmatched reliability, safety, and ease of use.


With over 70 years of experience in the industry, we are the best at what we do in terms of quality, credibility, and skills.


We offer various scaffolding types, including frame, system, suspended, and steel shoring. We also handle scaffolding sales, erection, and dismantling, ensuring safe and efficient service for all projects.


We also provide SAIA-accredited Competent Person training for supported and suspended scaffolds. Other certified training includes confined space and fall protection, OSHA outreach training (construction), and MSHA part 48 training. You can reach us at 1-800-252-3417 or fill out our contact form to know more.


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