Raise Your Sights | Scaffolding Safety

Scaffolds are widely used in a variety of industries and are frequently a factor in workplace injuries. There are approximately 4,500 scaffold-related injuries and 50 scaffold-related deaths per year in construction alone. Approximately 72% of the injured workers report that their scaffolding accident was caused by slipping, being struck by a falling object, or the scaffold planking or support giving way.

OSHA has implemented numerous requirements surrounding scaffolds, which need to be reviewed in detail to ensure compliance and safety. Below we’ve put together a general list of safety tips as a reminder to keep scaffold safety at the forefront of your mind.

General Scaffolding Safety

  • Ensure you get proper training prior to using a scaffold.
  • Ensure the scaffold has been inspected by a competent person prior to use.
  • Ensure guardrails and flooring are properly in place prior to use.
  • Don’t use a scaffold that appears to be damaged.
  • Chock the wheels and engage the wheel locks before using rolling scaffolds.
  • Pay attention to the maximum load of the scaffold and ensure you don’t overload it or its components.
  • Materials should be hoisted up to the scaffold. Do not attempt to climb with materials in your hands.
  • Keep scaffold platforms free of unnecessary items.
  • Wear a hard hat and non-slip boots when working on or near a scaffold.
  • Check your fall arrest equipment for signs of damage and replace it if needed.
  • Only climb the scaffold the way it’s intended to be used by the manufacturer.
  • Don’t try to increase working height by using boxes, blocks, ladders, or other items.
  • Don’t work on a scaffold until snow, ice or other slipping hazards are removed.
  • Don’t move a scaffold while someone is on it.
  • Don’t use a scaffold during high winds or storms.
  • Keep a safe distance from power lines.
  • Get retraining when there are changes in the scaffold type, changes in work conditions, or any time you feel additional training may be warranted.

OSHA has provided detailed scaffolding requirements with standards for construction and general industry. To review OSHA requirement information, see their Scaffolding webpage.

Date Posted: 02-01-2017
Tags: osha safety topics, osha scaffolding, osha workplace safety, scaffolding safety,
Categories: DOT HAZMAT,