Project managers urged to consider scaffolding safety

Posted by Design & Construct on 22-May-2015 18:45:02

In Construction


Health and safety is not something anyone can afford to overlook in a professional environment, least of all project managers.

Queensland's Department of Housing and Public Works explains that while health and safety obligations fall upon all members of the workforce, some people in key roles need to be extra vigilant. Project managers have a direct influence on the safety of others, so there is no opportunity to fall short of the required standard.

The department points out that health and safety should be integrated into every stage of the project management cycle. This includes construction work, where some of the greatest hazards often arise.

Project management on a safe construction site

Scaffolding is a feature on most construction sites and should be a core concern for health and safety.

Having an overview of any project - whether it's in the construction sector or not - is a key trait for anyone taking up a project manager role.

SafeWork Australia urges any contractor to be aware of their obligations before erecting these structures. High-risk construction work should be given greatest priority - in the eyes of the law, this includes any task where there is a risk of falling more than two metres.

It might be necessary to complete a Safe Work Method Statement, depending on the specifics of the project. If the work is deemed to be high-risk, then it is essential that the document is prepared before any construction activity gets underway.

Proper use of scaffolding

WorkCover NSW recently explained that unsafe scaffolding not only puts a project manager and their workforce at risk, but also members of the public. This is why corners cannot be cut when it comes to putting up scaffolding and ensuring it is compliant with the necessary safety standards.

Project managers are urged to ensure that only competent persons are responsible for erecting the scaffolding and undertaking work on the structure. This includes making any alterations that are needed. Only recruiting individuals with a high-risk work licence in this field is a good place to start.

Project managers must ensure site safety.
Project managers must ensure site safety.

Further to this, being aware of the duty rating of the scaffolding is of utmost importance. This will determine the number of decks that can be loaded within a bay, which is something any project manager will need to be aware of. Not having this information on hand has the potential to put contractors and other workers in harm's way.

Having an overview of any project - whether it's in the construction sector or not - is a key trait for anyone taking up a project manager role. If you're looking to recruit experts in this field, be sure to give us a call.