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Report finds that adequate Inspection of scaffolding can prevent accidents

A report published by Cadogans, a firm of expert engineers, has concluded that the safety of a worker on a scaffold, to a large extent, is in the hands of the person responsible for inspecting the scaffold prior to its use.

Scaffolding allows workers to work at a height. Whilst working on scaffolding, accidents including slip, trips and falls are common place and make up a large proportion of injuries on construction sites.

The employer is required to provide an employee with a safe environment while working in general and this includes on scaffolding. They must ensure the scaffolding remains safe to use.

After a scaffold has been erected, it should be inspected by a qualified scaffold inspector before use and at least once a week. The scaffold should also be inspected after being altered or due to a significant event such as high winds.

Cadogans engineers found that the followings examples when inspecting scaffold which could lead to a serious accident occurring:

_ Excessive gaps in the floorboards;

_ Excessive gaps in the side protection system (which includes guardrails and toeboards);

_ Inadequate installation of structural members and tying of floor boards;

_ Lack of bracing system in the scaffold.

Cadogans prepared their report after reviewing a selection of expert witness reports and noted that a personal injury could have been avoided in many cases had adequate and timely scaffold inspections been undertaken.

Adequate inspections can therefore lead to the safety of workers and prevent injury occurring at work.

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