Whether you are a homeowner doing improvements or a large construction company doing a multi build, the presence of scaffolding in Glasgow or anywhere in the UK can be a source of worry. This is probably even more true if the work you are doing is in the heart of a residential area. Scaffolding can be a magnet for many different age groups for various reasons. Some children may see it as a climbing frame and something to explore and quite often older teens and adults see being able to climb up scaffolding as proof of their masculinity.
When unauthorised people with little or no health and safety awareness and training get onto scaffolding it’s an accident waiting to happen. Therefore you must make every effort to prevent unauthorised persons from getting access to your scaffolding at all times. While we appreciate it is impossible to completely stop determined people such as vandals and thieves from getting onto your scaffolding, there are certain basic measures you can take to deter opportunists as well as preventing people from ending up on your site by accident.
Undertake a Site Assessment
How much security you need can often be determined by several factors such as location and the type of construction work being carried out. The best way to do this is to carry out a site assessment to decide on the best way to deter people from accessing your scaffolding. Things to be considered include where the scaffolding is located whether on a site or in a public place, is the site closed regularly for periods, the number of access points and the level of privacy. There are other things you may wish to think about, but these are certainly important basic considerations.
Think About Perimeter Fencing
Wherever possible you should use perimeter fencing to help prevent unauthorised persons from getting onto your construction site and scaffolding. Try and ensure any fencing is continuous fixed in place and secured properly to stop people squeezing through. You should also continually review the condition of your fencing to ensure it is in good order. Also try to make sure any skips, tools or machinery is not left adjacent to the fencing allowing it to be used by trespassers to help gain access to the site.
Remove Ladders Wherever Possible
Good practice involves installing internal ladders or a ladder tower allowing the ground floor ladder to be removed at the end of work making access a lot more difficult. Any free-standing ladders should be locked away and stored safely to stop them from being used. When the ladder is in situ it should always be clamped or tied into place to ensure it will not move during use.
Use Ladder Guards
Removing the ladder will give you better control than using ladder guards however that may not be possible. So, in those cases using a ladder guard is a good alternative. Ladder guards are sturdy metal plates that hook over and padlocks onto several rungs of the ladder to prevent anyone from climbing it. If you use ladder guards always ensure, they are firmly locked in place, they make the bottom rungs of the ladder unusable to prevent climbing.
Other Security Controls
When doing your site assessment you should think about which actions can be taken to stop unauthorised access. Things like CCTV, CCTV with active monitoring and employing security personnel.
Hopefully, the measures we have outlined above will deter the majority of would-be intruders from gaining access to your scaffolding.
Understanding the danger posed by unattended scaffolding and the possible ramifications if someone falls on your site should focus the mind on safety.