Hold Up!

OSHA estimates 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently. Eliminating scaffold-related accidents would prevent 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths every year, at a savings of $90 million in workdays not lost. 

Many of our task involve the use of scaffolding, and while we do not have the space for all of the OSHA regulation or questions concerning scaffolding here are some common questions concerning scaffolding: 

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Who is allowed to design a scaffold? 

Only a qualified person can design a scaffold. Once the qualified person has designed a scaffold, it must then be constructed and loaded within that design. 

Who is a qualified person? 

According to OSHA, a qualified person is a person who: 

  • Possesses a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing. 

  • Has extensive knowledge, documented training and experience. 

  • Can solve or resolve problems related to the work or the project. 

What are “erectors” and “dismantlers” and what training do they need? 

An erector is someone who assembles scaffolding, and a dismantler is someone who disassembles scaffolding. Both erectors and dismantlers must receive documented training from a competent instructor before they can assemble and/or disassemble scaffolding. A competent instructor is one who possess a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, with extensive knowledge, training and experience. 

Who are scaffold users? 

Scaffold users are those whose work requires them, at least some of the time, to be supported by scaffolding to access the area of a structure where that work is performed. 

Do scaffold users have to receive training? 

Yes, every Wachs employee and subcontractor who performs work while on a scaffold must receive documented training from a competent instructor. 

What must the training for a scaffold user include? 

The training must enable employees and subcontractors to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards. 

What are the requirements for scaffolding planking? 

Scaffold planking must be able to support, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the intended load. Solid sawn wood, fabricated planks, and fabricated platforms may be used as scaffold planks following the recommendations by the manufacturer or a lumber grading association or inspection agency. Such wood planks should be identified by the grade stamp of such association or agency. 

How wide must a work areas and walkway be when on scaffolding? 

Each scaffold platform and walkway must be at least 18 inches wide, guardrails must be installed or personal fall arrest systems must be used. Only in rare instances is the platform al-lowed to be less than 18 inches. 

When is it required to inspect scaffold? Before each shift, by the designated competent person and then documented. 

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For more safety information, please see this edition of Wachs Weekly.