Just like any asset, prolonging the life of scaffolding is vital for contractors not only in terms of costs but more importantly, worker safety. In an industry that experiences a high rate of accidents and injuries, safety should always be the leading priority when using equipment on a construction site. Considering that almost two-thirds of construction workers utilise scaffolding equipment at some point, ensuring that scaffolding equipment is well-maintained and in good working condition is paramount to the safety of workers.
While adequate training and knowledge of scaffolding use is vital for the safety of workers on construction sites, properly maintaining scaffolding equipment is equally important. Typical construction projects can last for extended periods of time, so it’s paramount that contractors are confident that their scaffolding equipment won’t lose functionality and become unsafe over the duration of the project. Routine maintenance must be performed to ensure all scaffolding parts and accessories remain functional and don’t present any risks to workers.
But how do you go about prolonging the lifespan of your scaffolding equipment not only to maximise your investment, but to ensure it remains in a safe working condition for as long as possible? Today, we’re going to provide you with our top 3 maintenance tips to prolong the life of scaffolding.
Tip # 1 – Clean scaffolding equipment before storage
It’s vital that scaffolding equipment is stored in a location that is safe from the elements when it’s not being used. Dismantling scaffolding correctly is also a key step to ensure that no unnecessary repairs or replacements are required when the scaffolding needs to be assembled again. Keeping all the scaffolding parts organised will allow you to quickly and easily assemble the scaffolding when the next project arises.
Once the scaffolding has been dismantled, it’s crucial that it’s cleaned thoroughly with a garden hose or power washer to remove any foreign objects such as paint, mud, stucco, or other materials. If the power washer isn’t able to completely clean your scaffolding equipment, you should consider using a sander to remove any accumulated debris. Ensuring that no contaminants remain on your scaffolding equipment while it’s being stored is the key to longevity.
Tip # 2 – Replace any worn parts
Even the most expensive scaffolding equipment will need parts to be replaced at some point. This is simply part of the lifecycle of owning any equipment, particularly that which experiences heavy loads of materials and high traffic. To be 100% compliant in workplace health and safety, you must replace any scaffolding parts that are showing signs of fatigue, such as bending, splitting, or other signs of wear and tear. When undertaking inspections of scaffolding equipment on-site and when dismantling scaffolding equipment, it’s imperative that you replace any parts which pose threats to worker safety.
Tip # 3 – Use WD-40 to prevent rust and deterioration
When in use, scaffolding is exposed to the elements for extended periods of time and are therefore prone to varying levels of rust and deterioration. Considering that all scaffolding parts need to be functional at all times throughout a project, it is strongly recommended that you purchase WD-40 or a similar product to use on nuts, bolts, bolt threads, and other removable and moving parts. This lubrication will greatly enhance the lifespan of your scaffolding equipment by preventing rust and corrosion. Along with this, applying WD-40 to your scaffolding equipment will also increase its functionality, durability, safety, and prevent unnecessary delays during the project.
To ensure your scaffolding equipment remains fully functional and safe for as long as possible, these tips should be employed when the scaffolding is being used and when it is being stored. Not only will you provide a safer working environment, but you’ll also greatly enhance the return on investment on your scaffolding equipment. If you need any further information about how to properly maintain your scaffolding equipment, get in touch with our team at Uni-Span by phoning 1300 882 825.