Florida summers bring excessive heat and humidity, as well as rain—including frequent (but often relatively brief) thunderstorms. Working on a scaffold already comes with a number of potential hazards, but these weather conditions increase the dangers. That’s why it’s important to take some extra precautions on top of the standard scaffold safety advice. Below are some additional pointers for staying safe while using scaffolding during the Florida summer.
Safely Working on Scaffolds in the Florida Summer
- Scaffolds should always be re-inspected by a qualified person after high winds or a heavy storm.
- Clear palm fronds, sticks, and other debris from scaffolding after a storm hits, as it creates tripping hazards and falling object hazards.
- Non-slip work boots are extra important when working on scaffolding that’s wet or may become wet.
- Don’t work on scaffolds during significant rainfall or when strong winds are blowing.
- Don’t work on scaffolds if you can hear thunder. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain, and is known to strike up to about 10 miles outside a storm’s area of rainfall. Lightning strikes are rare, but working at a height increases the risk, and people do get stuck outside the area of rain because they thought they were safe at that point.
- Temporary roofs on scaffolds can provide protection from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, reducing worker fatigue and the risk of heat stroke and dehydration.
- Increase the frequency of breaks so workers can get out of the sun, cool down, and rehydrate. Excessive heat and dehydration increase susceptibility to dizziness, loss of concentration, and other conditions that are particularly dangerous while working on scaffolds.
- Follow the usual safety precautions for working in high heat and humidity to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.