How to Ensure Public Safety When Working with Scaffolding
Protecting not just your workers but also people nearby

The scaffolding industry has always put safety on top of everything due to its high-risk nature. As much as there are protocols to keep scaffolders safe from injuries and accidents, there are also protocols and materials available to help keep the public safe. 


Oftentimes, scaffolding is erected in busy or urbanised areas where people walk by without any head protection. Falling debris or tools could cause serious injuries or even death. With an example here of how a hammer dropped from the 10th floor of a building could crush a watermelon open, we couldn’t bear to imagine what sort of injuries could be sustained if public safety is not prioritised.


Aside from the almost irreversible damages, fines for causing public harm can range from £100,000 to millions, depending on the damages and the charges filed. 


With all these risks and consequences, the scaffolding industry plays an important role in taking responsibility to protect the public.  


How can we keep the public safe? 


There are 3 things to consider for public safety: 


  1. 1. Safety On Ground 

  1. 2. Safety From Above 

  1. 3. Safety From Wrong Access 


1. Safety On Ground: Make it visual. 


The best place to start is always on the ground. Scaffold tubes are often placed on pavements and pedestrian zones where a lot of people walk by. Unprotected scaffold poles that are not highly visible could pose a threat to passers-by, especially now that a lot of people walk with their attention on their phones instead of the path!


All scaffolding on the ground should be highly visible with End Caps, Stud Bolt Caps and Yellow Foam Protection. These materials make each tube and tube ends visible even in our peripheral view, making it almost impossible to miss. 


2. Safety From Above: Don't let anything drop! 


Safety threats from above are something that passers-by are never prepared for so it is our great responsibility that nothing falls from scaffolding.  


Tools used at heights should be tethered or clipped to the scaffolder's belt to keep them from falling to the ground if they fall out of the scaffolder's hand. 


Aside from this, proper use of Debris Netting could save lives by catching and suspending falling debris. However, if there is a high risk for falling debris in the scaffolding area, it would be best to close it off from the public to secure their safety. 


3. Safety from Wrong Access: Enclose and sign-post your area. 


To avoid unauthorised access to scaffold areas that could lead to accidents, make sure that all sides or entry points are closed off with proper netting or temporary walls. Ideally, entry points should also have someone guarding over them. 


The scaffold area should have signs and warnings for the public, too. You may use PVC Mesh Banners or standard printed signage for this. Providing the public with enough information goes a long way for their safety. 


To know more about scaffold protection products, talk to our team of experts today for a FREE consultation.