The construction industry has historically experienced a high rate of accidents and injuries and great emphasis is placed on the health and safety of workers. Falls from heights is one of the leading causes of injuries on construction sites and usually involves workers operating on scaffolding structures. While there are many safety measures implemented when erecting, using, and dismantling scaffolding structures, one aspect which is often discounted is the appropriate maintenance.
All scaffolding equipment must be adequately maintained not only to maximise the safety of workers, but also to prolong the life of the scaffolding in order to yield a good return on investment. Well-maintained scaffolding that is in good working condition is not only vital to the safety of workers, but also ensures the scaffolding won’t have any issues throughout the duration of the project. Mid-project repairs and alterations of scaffolding is very costly and typically extends the project’s deadline considerably. Consequently, regular scaffolding maintenance should be undertaken to guarantee that all scaffolding parts and accessories continues to be functional and doesn’t present any safety risks to workers.
To give you a better understanding of how to prolong the lifespan of your scaffolding equipment, today we’ll be offering a simple guide so you can maximise both worker safety and your return on your investment.
Prevent rust and corrosion
One of the biggest causes of scaffolding deterioration is rust and corrosion. Scaffolding is exposed to the elements for lengthy periods of time and experience varying degrees of rust and corrosion. To ensure your scaffolding is functional at all times during a project, it’s highly encouraged to use WD-40 or a similar product on nuts, bolts, bolt threads, and other moving parts. The lubrication that WD-40 provides prevents a lot of rust and corrosion and enhances the lifespan of your equipment. Not only does WD-40 prevent rust, but it’s known to enhance the safety, durability, and functionality of the scaffolding equipment to minimise any unnecessary delays.
Clean scaffolding before storage
It’s paramount that scaffolding is properly dismantled and stored in a safe location which is protected from the elements. During the dismantling process, scaffolding should be thoroughly inspected to see whether any repairs or replacements are required before the equipment is used again on the next project. Ensuring that all scaffolding parts are organised and stored neatly will allow you to quickly and efficiently assemble the scaffolding again without any unnecessary delays.
After the scaffolding has been dismantled, it’s vital that it’s thoroughly cleaned with a power washer (or garden hose) to remove any contaminations like stucco, mud, paint, or other materials. If you can’t clean the scaffolding adequately using a power washer, consider using a sander to remove any left-over debris. Storing your scaffolding without any contaminants on the surface is the key to its longevity.
Replace worn parts
Any parts which are displaying signs of wear and tear should be replaced as soon as possible. Scaffolding structures have a finite lifespan and replacing worn parts is inevitable, regardless of the quality of the equipment. Considering that scaffolding is put under a lot of stress from heavy loads (workers, materials, tools) and high traffic, it’s vital to worker safety that scaffolding structures are continuously 100% compliant.Whether the scaffolding is being erected, inspected, or dismantled, any parts that show signs of fatigue such as splitting, bending, and other signs of wear and tear should be replaced to minimise any safety concerns.
Following the above guidelines will help you to prolong the life of your scaffolding equipment and maximise worker safety throughout the duration of a project. In addition, using scaffolding that is well-maintained and in good working condition will prevent any unnecessary delays which is vital to a project’s timeline and budget.
If you require any further information about the proper maintenance of scaffolding structures, simply reach out to the professionals at Uni-Span by phoning their staff on 1300 882 825.