If a scaffold is not properly set up or used in the right manner, workers are put at increased risk and falls are more likely to occur. Approximately 2 million construction workers are frequently involved with jobs that require scaffolding per year. If more steps were taken to ensure the protection of these workers from accidents related to scaffolds, there would be about 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths prevented annually.
Here are some ways to follow OSHA regulations to ensure safety while operating on scaffolding.
- The scaffold must be steady and able to carry not only its own weight, but about four times the maximum load capacity without being unsettled or displaced.
- Do not support the scaffold or planks with unstable objects.
- Scaffolds cannot be set up, moved, dismantled or altered in anyway unless it's done under the supervision of a knowledgeable person (contractor, supervisor, etc.).
- Equip scaffold with guardrails, midrails and toeboards.
- Immediately replace or repair any damaged or weak accessories such as braces, brackets, screw legs and the like.
- Platforms must be tightly planked.
- A supervisor must inspect scaffolding and reinspect at designated intervals.
- Rigging needs to be inspected as well before each shift and after any event that could affect structural integrity.
- Ensure all connections are tight and that the rigging has taken no damage.
- Always protect natural and synthetic rope used for suspension from heat sources.
- Scaffolds must always be at least 10 feet away from electric power lines.
- Instruct employees about the hazards of diagonal braces and fall protection.
- The scaffold must be accessible by ladders or stairwells.
If you need help with accident prevention, reach out to Safety Advantage, LLC for help establishing a site specific safety plan that's right for your team.