Construction is one of the biggest industries in the country, and activity in this sector is taken as an indication of the overall state of the economy. Scaffolding and safety are two major concerns within the industry, to ensure the safety of workers who do some of the most dangerous and important jobs. Having the right equipment at worksites, like sidewalk canopies and aluminum scaffolding towers can help to ensure the safety of workers and passersby.
A thriving industry
Construction is one of the major industries and economists look to it as an indication of the overall state of the economy. At the present time, seven of the top ten industries growing at the fastest rate in the U.S. are construction related, according to Sageworks.
Among these is the tool and equipment rental market, which is seeing an annual growth of 3.1%. This is an indication of the thriving state of the construction industry. Even as the industry prospers, workplace and workers safety remain major concerns.
Safety concerns for workers and worksites
Safety equipment can be personal or general. General safety equipment makes the site safe, and includes such equipment as aluminum scaffolding towers, heavy duty shoring, guard rails and roof support.
Personal safety gear can include harnesses, safety lines and fall arrest systems. Any worksite where workers operate at six feet or more above ground level are required by law to provide fall protection. This can include the right kind of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
Scaffolding for safety
Scaffolding and shoring are the basics of worksite safety in the construction industry. According to OSHA estimates, safety training and correct safety standards prevent accidents and save lives. Having the right safety equipment can as many as 50 lives each year and prevent 4,500 accidents from happening.
Scaffolding serves about 2.3 million workers every day. Scaffolding used to be made of wood until the 20th century, but that has changed with new technology developing stronger alternatives. Wood has been replaced by materials like aluminum, which are both light and strong. Aluminum scaffolding towers are now standard on worksites across the country.
OSHA safety guidelines
OSHA guidelines define safety standards for aluminum scaffolding towers and other safety equipment on construction sites. These stipulate that scaffolding should be strong enough to support its own weight and should have a safety margin that lets it support at least four times the maximum load it will carry.
OSHA guidelines also stipulates the width of scaffolding platforms and walkways. These must be at least 18 inches wide. If the width is less than 18 inches, there should be guardrails installed and fall arrest systems in place.
As the construction industry continues to drive the economy forward, worker safety and workplace safety remain major considerations. With scaffolding and shoring equipment like aluminum scaffolding towers, the work can go ahead safely.