Oil and Gas News

Scaffold Elimination: Maximise maintenance safety and ensure compliance


Scaffolds are a common cause of worksite injury in both mining and construction industries. Issues pertaining to scaffolding have unfortunately come to light again following a recent incident at a site in Western Australia’s north west, where a maintenance worker tragically fell to his death.

Working at height continues to exist as one of the highest risk workplace activities accounting for 21 fatalities in 2019 alone – 11 per cent of all workplace fatalities and second only to vehicle collisions.

Although the cause of the most recent incident in WA’s north west was not specified, the most common causes of scaffolding incidents according to Worksafe are:

  • Scaffolding collapse
  • Work near overhead electric lines
  • Mixing components from different scaffold systems (for example, do not mix aluminium tubing with steel tubing)
  • Falls from heights
  • Parts falling from overhead scaffolding

Bringing scaffold into a maintenance or inspection project carries several risks and extra ongoing costs. These factors directly influence the likelihood of an incident occurring:

  • The requirement for extra non-company personnel on-site,
  • Requirement for 3 scaffolders on-site to build and breakdown
  • The hire of the scaffold
  • Parts and personnel are not always available
  • Scaffold must be regularly inspected and is often not
  • Non-inspected, unsafe scaffolding often left in place
  • Scaffold not in a form of permanent access

Although not all workplace fatalities and serious injuries are due to working from height, reducing this risk is a great place to start, which can be done by eliminating scaffold.

Bend-tech Scaffold Elimination

The scaffold elimination process involves a site audit where we scope and inspect scenarios whereby scaffold is or has been erected on a regular basis to access, protect or provide support. We then design, engineer, and construct a mobile or fixed solution to eliminate the need for scaffold, making future access or maintenance much safer and efficient for personnel.

Critical risks are important to manage. Bend-tech’s design, engineering and construction of certified platforms provide complete mitigation of the risks and problems associated with scaffold. The capability to visit site and develop and certify a custom solution means Bend-tech can minimise access and working at heights risks.

Access platforms transform productivity and create a fixed one-time cost that establishes significant ROI over the lifetime of a project when compared to the required build and breakdown of scaffold.

Get in contact with the Bend-tech Oil & Gas team today to learn how the company can eliminate hazards on your operation and make maintenance safer, more efficient and easier.

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