Scaffolding allows you to do your job at elevated heights. It includes suspended systems from buildings, supported systems from the ground, and aerial systems on mobile equipment. Without proper training, your work on a scaffolding system puts you at risk for falls or for being hit by falling objects, both of which could cause serious or even fatal injuries.
To prevent falls, scaffolding equipment should be properly installed and operated by qualified personnel who should study the load, bracing, and safety code requirements for each job site. Properly designed scaffolding systems have work levels that are decked with regulation-sized planks and have appropriate worker access. Depending on the height of the scaffold, fall protection can include safety harnesses, guardrails, or toe boards.
A competent person should inspect the scaffolding before each use to see that it is in good condition and operable. Scaffolding should be plumb, level, and in firm contact with a stable surface. The scaffolding should be sturdy with all nuts and bolts tightened. Damaged or improperly constructed equipment should not be used. To avoid electrocution hazards, power lines should be at least 10 feet away from the scaffold.
Before a scaffold job begins
All workers on the site will receive training on that particular scaffolding system. This will include receiving all required personal fall protection equipment, if needed, as well as training in how to correctly wear the protection device, how to inspect it before each use, and how to recognize when the equipment should be removed from service.
While on the scaffold
Keep your body belt or harness system drop lines away from sharp surfaces and corrosive materials that may weaken the protection device and cause it to fail. Secure drop lines to separate sturdy anchor points on structural members of the scaffolding.
Only climb the scaffolding from designated areas on the structure or on properly installed ladders. Practice good climbing techniques on your own, including facing the rungs when climbing up or down and using tool belts or approved hoists to carry materials up to the job site. This allows you to use both hands and establish solid footing and balance before climbing the structure.
Practice safe behaviors on scaffolding at all times
Only one person should stand on an individual plank at a time.
Materials should not be hoisted or placed on cantilevered platforms unless they are designed for it.
- Be aware of activities taking place overhead and try to keep tools away from the edges of the scaffold and platform openings so they don’t drop on workers below.
With proper training and education in scaffold systems, fall protection equipment, and proper scaffold work practices, you can work and feel safe at elevated heights.
Download flyer: SMOTW_Scaffold Safety.pdf (97.52 kb)