There are many uses for scaffolding in the building and other sectors. In most cases, scaffolding is hired rather than a company owning their own. That way they avoid the necessity of finding storage for when it is not in use, finding or owning transport to carry it to and from various worksites and employing staff to erect it. That said, if a company hires out scaffold but does not supply staff to erect it, who will you get to erect it on your worksite?
If you want to maintain safety on the building site, those who erect scaffolding should be fully trained to do so. If your own employees are going to be given that job, it is essential that they have access to and undergo the training necessary to become competent scaffolders. The risk of fatal injury is too high to allow an untrained person to simply read a manual and then go ahead and erect the scaffolding structure for your building or any other project.
Safety regulations must be adhered to if you want to avoid legalities rising from accidents or from inspectors finding that safety rules are not being adhered to. In general, it is better for the small to middle-sized company to hire in contractors to erect their scaffolding. It saves them the work and time taken to find and employ staff especially for the job. In fact, because erecting scaffolding is a specialised job it may be quite difficult to find anyone with the necessary training, especially out in regional areas.
If your own employees are to erect the scaffolding, it is essential to have a supervisor who is trained in doing the job to oversee each step and make sure it has been done to perfection. Those who are not trained would simply be unable to tell whether a mistake had been made somewhere or not. This will lead to a dangerous workplace where valuable staff could be badly injured.
Scaffolding work has been defined as a high risk undertaking that only tradespeople with a special, high risk license should undertake. Each of three licenses covers specific aspects of scaffolding from basic to intermediate and on to advanced. The three licenses are: –
- SB – basic scaffolding
- SI – intermediate
- SA – advanced
To hold the SI license employees must have gained their SB license and to gain the SA license they need to have both SB and SI. A trades person with any or all of these licenses can transfer them to another state in Australia so long as they are still current.
So if you have scaffolding to erect, it is important to only allow those workmen with the appropriate licenses to do the job.