Suppose you are either living in a property with scaffolding blocking all the upstairs windows or you are project managing the construction work itself. In that case, it is imperative to know more about how to deal with the problem of windows blocked by scaffolding.
There are several reasons why blocking upstairs windows with scaffolding can potentially be problematic.
The first and most obvious reason is that scaffolding work can block crucial emergency exits - such as large windows, balconies, or fire escapes. This compromises the safety of the entire building and potentially leaves the occupants trapped during a fire or other form of emergency.
Secondly, scaffolding can block sunlight from entering the property, which is unhealthy for the occupants and can even lead to health problems if the scaffolding remains erected for considerable lengths of time.
This is what you need to know about the health and safety implications of blocking all upstairs windows with scaffolding:
Use an Easi-Dec Platform
One of the best ways to reduce the chances of blocking an upstairs window for long periods of time is to use an Easi-Dec platform system on occupied properties.
An Easi-Dec Platform is a safe and flexible alternative to traditional scaffolding, allowing you to access the outside of a property without blocking windows for too long. They are work platforms that comply to the temporary edge protection standard EN13374 Class C that can be easily transported and easily adjusted for most property types or tasks.
What's more, Easi-Dec Platforms can be erected and disassembled quickly, which helps you to minimize the negative impact your work has on the occupants of the property. The system can be assembled within 30minutes.
Make Sure the Scaffolding isn't Blocking an Emergency Exit
A crucial health and safety requirement you must fulfil if you are constructing scaffolding outside a property is to ensure it is not blocking an emergency exit. The reason for this is that if you stop someone from exiting the building during a fire, you will not only be putting their life at risk, but you may be liable for any damages that occur.
The best way to take suitable precautions that this doesn’t happen is to have a competent person conducting a tour of the property with the owner or manager, to check that all emergency exits are clear.
This also goes for exits on floor level because while your scaffolding might be clear of the ground floor, other equipment, tools, or vehicles might be unwittingly blocking the exit.
Have the Scaffolding Constructed by a Professional
Another key health and safety requirement you need to consider is your team's training and competence. You need to make sure that the team is led by a project manager with considerable experience and contains staff who have been properly trained in health and safety best practices.
This will minimise the chances that your team accidentally blocks an upstairs window, prevents windows from opening, or prevents fire exits from functioning when it isn't necessary.