While there is no doubt scaffolding improves the safety and performance of workers on a construction site, it is still not a foolproof solution for an individual’s safety. Every year, thousands of workers are injured in scaffolding falls, around the globe. Ignoring the importance or failing to implement additional safety measures, such as scaffolding and personal protective equipment, can be catastrophic to the worker
Firstly, the scaffold equipment needs to be erected by a highly qualified personnel, and should match the type of work being done. Second, the entire construction team must undergo ample training on how to safely use the scaffold structures. Third, a trained inspector must inspect the scaffold’s structural integrity at least every week and every time after adverse weather conditions. For tower scaffolds, a rigorous inspection and risk management routine needs to be put in place to ensure the tower scaffold is safe to use.
After certifying that the scaffolds are in great shape and workers have been properly trained, it’s time to see that everyone dons the appropriate personal protective equipment. Here are six basic pieces of height safety equipment that all scaffolders should have:
Scaffolding Height Safety Equipment
- Fall Arrest Harness
- "Y" lanyard
- Safety Helmet
- Work Positioning Lanyard
- Gear Bag
- Suspension Trauma Straps
Fall arrest harness for scaffolders
When working at heights on scaffolding, a fall arrest harness is crucial for your safety. A fall arrest harness is designed to catch you in case you fall, so if you are a scaffolder, you should pay close attention to picking the right safety harness that is suitable for your job.
The fall arrest harness you chose should be lightweight and should allow you maximum freedom of movement for performing your task. You will likely wear the safety harness for long hours on the scaffolding, so it should be comfortable as well.
One of the best harnesses for scaffolders is Singing Rock’s Technic Fall Arrest Harness.
This fully adjustable safety harness is suitable for specialised work, such as installing scaffoldings, working on tall constructions, or towers. The harness is designed for use with heavy equipment; it has slots to accommodate heavy tools that you as a scaffolder need to perform your job.
The Singing Rock Technic can be equipped with removable shoulder padding to increase comfort while wearing the safety harness. The padding for the technic harness spreads the weighted tension to a bigger surface, which can be very useful if heavy equipment and tools are hanging on your fall arrest harness.
“Y” lanyard for scaffolding
Another piece of equipment you need to ensure your safety when working on scaffolding is a “Y” type lanyard. Due to the nature of the “Y” lanyard, your fall arrest harness will always be attached to at least one anchor point. The “Y” Lanyard allows you to move on the scaffolding freely and securely, knowing that the lanyard will arrest a fall.
The lanyard you choose to connect to your fall arrest harness should have a hook large enough to be attached to a scaffolding platform of any kind.
An example of the “Y” type lanyard ideal for scaffolders is the Singing Rock Reactor 140.
This elasticated shock-absorbing lanyard can arrest a fall of a person weighing up to 140 kg including their equipment. It is available in various lengths from 85 cm to 155 cm and is equipped with an alloy hook that can be easily attached to the scaffolding platform.
Safety helmet for scaffolders
You should always protect your head from debris, material, or tools that may fall from above. Wearing a safety helmet or a hard hat is a must.
The Flash Industry safety helmet from Singing Rock is designed for situations like this. The helmet is available in five exciting colour variations.
Work positioning lanyard
When working on scaffolding, situations may occur when you will need a work positioning lanyard - a lanyard that allows you to work hands free and supported at heights.
However, there is one important thing you should remember; these work positioning lanyards are not supposed to arrest a fall. They are used only for positioning – giving you more freedom and allowing you to work hands free. That’s why when positioning, you should use both; a work positioning lanyard and shock-absorbing lanyard, such as the Singing Rock Reactor 140 (mentioned above) to catch you if you fall.
When it comes to selecting a positioning lanyard suitable for working on scaffoldings, take a look at the Singing Rock Site that offers scaffolders a safe and reliable option.
The end of this work positioning lanyard is finished by a stitched-in scaffold hook made from light alloy. The lanyard is sewn in an unopenable version of the fall arrester device, the Singing Rock Locker which makes the work positioning at heights safe and more efficient.
If you want to know more about how to use the fall arrester Locker for work-positioning, check out this video from Singing Rock:
Carabiners and connectors are vital pieces of equipment when connecting a lanyard and harness together; or when connecting other pieces of height safety equipment, such as pulleys, tackles, ascenders, or descenders.
For extra safety, you should choose a carabiner with triple lock because its gate can be locked in a way which offers extra protection from being accidentally opened.
We recommend these two carabiners for scaffolders:
Singing Rock Steel Oval Connector Triple Lock that is designed especially for work at heights and industrial use.
The other one is Singing Rock Oxy Screw: a carabiner made of a hot-forged light alloy that makes it extremely strong.
Bag for scaffolding equipment
Now you know which basic safety equipment you will need for working on scaffolding. With all that scaffolding safety equipment, you will likely need a bag to easily transport your equipment and working gear to the scaffolding.
There are a lot of bags to choose from, including the Singing Rock Dry Bag. This waterproof gear bag is made of durable material and takes up minimal space. It is available in two different colours and sizes: 40L or 60L.
The Courant Dock is another bag you can look at. This universal kit bag with a volume of 60 L has plenty of space and offers many features, such as gear holders and elasticated drawstring pocket for bottles or smaller tools.
Whichever one you choose that will suit your needs better will protect and easily transport your scaffolding gear.
Extra item: Suspension trauma straps
There is one more extra item of safety equipment that a scaffolder working at heights might find useful: suspension trauma straps, such as Singing Rock‘s suspension trauma safety straps.
These straps, attached to the fall arrest harness, are designed to prevent suspension trauma after a fall – they help relieve the pressure around the top of the legs while the worker is in a suspended position and waiting for rescue.
Fall-related accidents are a hazard that scaffolders have to contend with. But this does not mean you should feel anxious every time you are working at height. Donning the correct personal protective equipment will give you the confidence and freedom needed to complete your work successfully. A quality fall arrest harness will act as a safety net, a hard hat will protect you from objects falling from above, and a work positioning lanyard will give you more freedom to maneuver when working.
At VERX AU, we are proud to offer you tested and proven personal protection equipment that will drastically improve your safety, comfort, and performance when working at heights. Simply browse through our site, and you will find a wide selection of top-quality safety products ideal for any scaffolding application.
And if you have any questions regarding the appropriate safety equipment for your next project, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email!