Scaffolds are found in many industries, not just construction. Many scaffold accidents result from improper construction and usage. Height is not the only factor, short falls are also dangerous.
What is a scaffold? A scaffold is a temporary elevated work platform.
While each type of scaffold has its own particular hazards, they all have common problems:
1. Workers fall from scaffolds injuring themselves
2. Tools or materials fall off scaffolds and injure others
Wisely constructed scaffolds provide safe working
Uprights must have secure footing. This is especially important when they are constructed on soil, sand or other loose material.
Top and mid guard rails and toe boards make for safe working conditions on scaffolds. Hand rails on open ends keep workers from falling off scaffolds and working platforms.
Toe boards are fastened to the inside of uprights. With metal tubular scaffolds, toe boards are nailed to platform plants or bolted to inside of uprights.
Only designated scaffolding materials should be used.
Scaffold working platforms must be kept free of debris and of snow, ice, oil or grease.
Tools should not be left on scaffolds overnight, nor should there be stockpiling of materials on scaffolds.
Never build an open fire upon or near wooden scaffolds, or metal scaffolds with flammable components.
Workers using a suspended scaffold should wear safety harnesses with lanyards properly fastened to independent safety lines.
Hard hats must be worn on scaffolds, particularly if work is being performed overhead.
- Inspect scaffolds daily prior to use, particularly, guardrails, connectors, fastenings, footings, tie-ins, and bracing.
- Keep platforms closely boarded, fenced, and securely fastened.
- Do not stockpile materials on scaffolds. Remove all materials and tools at the end of the day.
- Never overload scaffolds. Pile materials being worked over ledger and bearer points to minimize platform loading.
- Do not work on scaffolds during storms or high winds, and clear platforms of all ice and snow before using. Sand wet planking to prevent slipping.
- Protect scaffolds. Do not bump or strike against scaffolds with vehicles or materials.
- Control hoisted material from ground with taglines.
- Keep platforms and areas around scaffold cleared of debris, un-needed equipment, material, and other hazards that will cause you to trip or fall.