As OSHA defense attorneys, we know that fall hazards can occur from the improper use of scaffolds. If they are not erected or used properly, an employee has a greater chance of falling. According to OSHA, about 2.3 million construction workers work on scaffolds, and OSHA estimates there are about 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities each year due to scaffold-related accidents. Luckily, there are plenty of preventive stepsthat can help to greatly reduce these accidents.
How To Correctly Set Up The Scaffold For Use
1. Make sure the scaffold is sound and sturdy enough to carry it’s own weight, plus at least four times its maximum load. It must be able to carry the weight without displacement or settling, and it must be set up on solid ground.
2. Do not set up, dismantle, move, or alter the scaffold. The only exception is if you are under the supervision of a professional.
3. All scaffolds are required to be equipped with midrails, toeboards, and guardrails.
4. Tightly plank the scaffold with a scaffold plank grade material.
1. A competent professional should be in charge of inspecting the scaffolding before use, and re-inspecting it at scheduled intervals.
2. A competent professional must inspect the rigging on suspension scaffolds. This must be done before every shift, as well as after an occurrence that might affect the structure of the scaffold to make sure all the connections are still secure and no damage was done.
Scaffold Safety Rules To Remember
1. The scaffold can only be accessed by using stairs or ladders.
2. All scaffolds are required to be at least 10 feet from any electrical power lines.
3. Natural and synthetic ropes that are used in suspension scaffolding are required to be covered and protected from heat-producing sources.
4. Any accessories like braces, screw legs, ladders, or brackets that are impaired are required to be fixed or replaced as soon as possible.
5. Do not support scaffolds with unstable items, such as concrete blocks or loose bricks.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.