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The Month that was (Safety Edition)


This week has felt long and arduous. Maybe its getting back from holiday and settling into a month of catching up as well maintaining the regular site visits but it’s felt like a 6 week month, and this week has dragged its feet. Construction on the whole is very buoyant at the moment and it seems everyone (especially my clients) is busy and recruiting new people to cope with upturn in work. The long period of hot sunny weather throughout the summer boosted the industry and no one is ready yet to slow down towards the autumn.

Still, we plod on and support our clients through everything they need us for. Whether that s dealing with deep excavations and the dangers that it represents or ladder safety. We are, if nothing else, prepared to assist and educate our clients workforce in order that everyone stays safe and well. This leads us nicely onto the subjects for this blog post:

Safe Excavations and Ladders accessing Scaffolds.

Making excavations safe is a simple process of thinking about what could happen next. Falls, side wall collapse, utility strikes, noxious gas build up. There are many things to consider but all are relatively simple to protect from:

  • Barriers to prevent the unwary from falling

  • Signs to warn those working near and the public

  • Monitoring of conditions

  • Trench props and supports to prevent side wall collapse

Taking the time to write those thoughts into a risk assessment though is where most small companies fall down (if you’ll pardon the pun). Its ok having all the protection measures in place and knowing how to do the job but without written evidence that you’ve formally gone through the process you’ll still be found wanting if something should go wrong.

Ladders accessing Scaffolds

Use a general rule of thumb from TG20:13 the Scaffolders ACOP (or bible) Ladders should extend five rungs above the take off deck height and you won’t go far wrong.

It used to be three but its not now. Use ladder clamps to secure ladders not string. If your clamps don’t fit your ladders…get new clamps that do fit.

It is that simple.

Stay Safe everyone. Enjoy the weather and busy work.


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