The efficiency and quality of every construction project depend to a large extent on the equipment you use. We are confident that the scaffolding materials we design and manufacture are among the best in the world, but — like any other piece of equipment on your job site — their long-term functionality requires ongoing inspection and maintenance.
From a safety standpoint, we recommend that all individual scaffolding parts and accessories are inspected prior to being used, and when the components are returned to the yard, or staging areas. We also recommend that all scaffold assemblies or structures should be inspected and tagged prior to being used, so that the end user can clearly identify what the scaffold is to be used for.
To ensure scaffolding parts and accessories are always maintained for maximum safety follow this 9 step checklist:
- Confirm that all scaffolding components are in place and secure: Wedges, bolts, nuts, spigots… even the smallest component must be present and secure to ensure safety.
- Look for cracks, dents and splits in steel or wooden panels: The floor panels of your scaffolding must bear a lot of weight and withstand heavy objects dropped from above. Even a small weakness in one of these surfaces can spell trouble as these heavy forces are exerted during the job.
- Look for sharp edges: Steel and aluminum often develop burrs and lips, which can lead to cuts and scratches not uncommon to heavy construction work. Noticing and fixing sharp edges is a good step toward preventing infections, bumps, bruises, and even avoiding more serious issues like hospitalization.
- Look for any deflection or bends in equipment (due to overloading): This is especially important at weight-bearing supports and flooring panels that have taken on especially heavy loads. If the metal is already bending under the strain, continued traffic and jarring makes it only a matter of when — not if — it will break.
- Check to ensure nuts on clamps and braces move freely: All scaffolding parts and accessories that are intended to move or be adjustable must be properly lubricated and routinely worked to keep them fully functional. Proper maintenance improves safety and avoids slowdowns during the job.
- Replace all missing/removed spigots with the correct bolt and lock nut: There is no room for cob-jobbing or making do with subpar replacement parts when your workers’ health and safety are on the line. Invest in manufacturer-approved replacement parts only.
- Ensure swing gate springs are functioning: Again, this is a seemingly small and simple maintenance item, but it adds another level of safety at every point in the scaffolding design where a safety barrier exists.
Depending on the size and complexity of your scaffolding, this list could take one safety inspector a few hours to complete. But that investment is well worth the lowered chance of accidents due to faulty or damaged materials.
Contact the professionals at AT-PAC today if you have any questions or concerns regarding properly inspecting and maintaining your existing scaffolding accessories or ordering replacement parts as needed.