Scaffolding is one of the more important pieces of equipment utilized in construction, including residential construction and home improvement projects. If you are planning to embark on a home improvement project that requires the utilization of scaffolding, there some facts and tactics that you need to understand regarding the proper use of scaffold.
Understanding the Most Common Causes of Scaffold Injury
One of the most important things you need to understand about scaffolding is the paramount importance of safety. The sad reality is that a significant number of people are injured in scaffold accidents each year. In addition, more than a few people are killed in scaffold accidents as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that vast majority of scaffolding accidents could be avoided. They occur because people simply are not correctly assembling or using scaffolding. OSHA estimates that the proper installation and use of scaffolding will prevent upwards to 4,500 injuries annually. In addition, the proper installation and utilization of scaffolding would prevent about 60 death annually.
OSHA does not regulate how private parties utilize scaffolding. OSHA regulates scaffolding used in a workplace, including a construction job site. The agency has no authority over the private use of scaffolding by a homeowner working on a residential improvement project.
Despite the lack of lawful authority over a person desiring to undertake DYI home improvement, a homeowner can still access the resources OSHA maintains regarding the appropriate assembly and use of scaffolding. The agency provides a wide range of resources that address issues like scaffolding assemble and use.
The most common causes of scaffolding injuries include:
- scaffolding deck or structure failing and giving away
- falls from inappropriately secures scaffolding
- being struck by airborne items
Hire a Professional to Assemble Scaffolding
No matter how adept you may consider yourself at DIY home improvement projects, unless you are renting or own a prefabricated, fully assembled scaffold designed for small projects, you might want professional assembly assistance. In other words, if you are in need of more substantial scaffolding for a project, seriously consider hiring a scaffold professional is not a foolproof alternative when it comes to ensuring safety issues, you greatly enhance the odds that scaffolding will be correctly assembled with the held of a pro.
Keep in mind that with many types of DIY home improvement projects, a professional may need to be called in for specific aspects of the endeavor. You need to include scaffolding assembly in that category for your own safety, and for the welfare of your family as well.
Retain a Home Improvement Pro
You may want to take the retain a professional decision regarding scaffold assembly one step further. You may want to give more serious consideration to hiring a professional to undertake the type of work that needs to be done utilizing scaffolding. Even when scaffolding is appropriately assembled, this type of equipment carries with it some inherent risks that you may not want to take because of a home improvement project.
Human error, caused by a less experienced person, accounts for a considerable percentage of scaffolding related accidents. This includes accidents that injure a person working on a project involving scaffolding. However, it also includes accidents involving third parties who are not working on the scaffolding. For example, if you are using scaffolding and do not fully understand how to safely stow tools or equipment, these items have a propensity to fall, possibly injuring others.
Home Improvement: Do-It-Yourself
If you are experienced with DIY home improvement, and reasonably believe that you can properly assemble and utilize scaffolding, you need not embark on this endeavor blindly. There are educational and even training resources that you can access in advance of commencing a home improvement project that will require the use of scaffolding.
As a homeowner, you necessarily maintain insurance to cover basic types of losses associated with home ownership. You existing homeowner’s insurance policy likely includes liability provisions to provide coverage if someone is injured on your property. The policy will delineate the parameters within which this type of coverage exists.
What you are likely to find is that undertaking a home improvement project that includes you using scaffolding very well may fall outside the scope of coverage associated with your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. As a preliminary matter, you need to explore the insurance issue to make sure that you and others appropriately are protected with appropriate coverage in the event of an accident.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.