An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2003 and 2004 data for the private sector), at a savings for American employers of $90 million in workdays not lost. In a recent BLS study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these accidents can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards.
Only erect scaffolding under the supervision of a designated, competent person • Plan fall protection measures during the erection and dismantling process • Do not work on any scaffolding until a designated, competent person has approved the complete installation. • Use a ladder or stair tower to access the scaffolding platforms• Do not climb on end frames unless the frames are designed with built in rungs. Never use cross braces on tubular scaffolding as a means of access or egress • Each Scaffold level must be fully planked, with no more than a 1” gap between boards • Only use planking that is scaffold grade or equivalent • Planks must overhang end supports no less than 6 inches but no more than 12 inches unless they are cleated or otherwise secured in place• Always lap planks in the same direction. scaffold and their components must be capable of supporting 4x times the maximum intended load • Use additional fall protection when working above 10’• Any scaffold damaged or weakened in any way must be immediately repaired or replaced scaffold platforms must be at least 12” wide on ladder jack and top plate scaffolds• All other scaffold platforms and walk ways should be 18” wide unless otherwise specially required or exempted•. All scaffold must be erected level and plumb, and on a solid footing, able to stand the weight of the load. Mudsills must extend 9” in each direction beyond foot plate• Do not use scrap lumber, concrete blocks, or bricks to stabilize the scaffold legs• Where needed, use heavy-duty solid wood under the legs to support maximum loads. •Do not change or remove scaffold members unless authorized • Inspect scaffold planks on a regular basis•. Discard and replace cracked or split planks immediately• Inspect metal plank hooks on scaffolding • Replace warped, corroded, or bent hooks• Avoid leaning past the side rails•. Relocate the scaffolding if necessary • Do not overload scaffolding with materials or workers• Ensure that open sides and platforms 4 feet or more in height have guardrails. • Do not place scaffolding more than 14” from wall.
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