Scaffolding is used on construction sites for a variety of reasons. For example, it’s commonly used by bricklayers who require a stable platform for performing their work.

While there are many benefits of using scaffolding, a simple mistake can result in a serious accident.

Here are five scaffolding safety tips to follow at all times:

  • Inspect for damage before use: Scaffolding can become damaged over time, improving the likelihood of an accident while in use.
  • Always use guardrails: Even if it makes your job more difficult, the use of guardrails greatly enhances your safety by protecting against falls.
  • Don’t use objects to support scaffolding: For instance, loose bricks or scrap wood should never be used to support scaffolding or level the ground on which it rests.
  • Don’t exceed the weight limit: All scaffolding has a weight limit. Failing to adhere to this greatly increases the risk of a collapse.
  • Beware of overhead power lines: As a general rule of thumb, never erect scaffolding within 10 feet of power lines. Even if you plan on exercising extreme caution, mistakes happen and contact with a power line can result in electrocution.

If you’re injured in a scaffolding accident, administer first aid and call for help. You may require an ambulance to transport you to a local hospital.

Once you understand your injuries, report the accident to your employer and let them know if it’ll impact your performance in the near future. Your medical team may suggest time away from work, which should lead you to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.