Scaffolds are structures used to work at high places for construction, operation, and maintenance activities. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) documented roughly 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries yearly from scaffold-related incidents. Falls from scaffolds account for approximately 25% of fatal falls from all working surfaces. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related incidents can prevent injuries and deaths attributed to falls from scaffolding each year. Scaffolding accidents often result from the plank giving way by slipping, absence of fall protection, or being struck by a falling object. Avoid such incidents by complying with OSHA standards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) advises the construction industry on safety standards and regulates the design, construction, and use of scaffolds. OSHA sets performance-oriented criteria to protect employees from scaffold-related hazards such as falls, falling objects, structural instability, electrocution, and overloading.
Why is scaffold competent person training?
Identifying and selecting scaffold components for particular scaffolding calls for basic knowledge of scaffold materials. Proper training is the best solution to maintain all safety standards for a scaffolding management system. Supervisors should undergo scaffold competent person training.
OSHA safety certification standards for scaffolding are detailed, but here is a general list of dos and don’ts for scaffolding safety in construction.
Scaffolding Safety Do’s
- Scaffolding safety training must be conducted by a qualified person and includes identifying hazards like electrocution, falls, and falling objects, and the procedures for dealing with those hazards. Training must also include the proper use of the scaffold, how to handle materials and the load capacities of the scaffold.
- Before getting on a scaffold, check to ensure that a competent person has inspected the scaffold before the work shift and that it is safe to use and in proper working order. Scaffolds can only be erected, dismantled, altered, or moved under the direct supervision of a competent person by trained personnel.
- Always wear a hard hat when working on, under, or around a scaffold. Workers are mandated to use sturdy, non-skid pairs of work boots and should consider using tool lanyards when working on scaffolds.
- Be aware of workers working above and below at all times and others working on the scaffold.
- Deploy fall arrest systems for scaffold construction workers; thorough equipment inspection for damage and wear should be mandated. Anchor the system to a safe point that won’t allow free fall more than six feet before stopping.
Scaffolding Safety Don’ts
- Don’t overload the scaffold. Training includes information about the scaffold’s maximum intended load and load-carrying capacities. In most instances, scaffolds should be capable of supporting at least four times their maximum intended load.
- Don’t use boxes or ladders to increase your work height. If you can’t reach an area, you should request that your supervisor have the work platform raised.
- Don’t use the scaffold if there are missing components such as planking, guardrails, toeboards, debris nets, or protective canopies. Notify a supervisor immediately to get the scaffold in proper working order and inspected by a competent person. Never tamper with or attempt to repair a scaffold unless you have received training in scaffold erection.
- Don’t walk on a scaffold plank covered in ice, snow, or mud. Worn wood planking can be extremely slippery when wet. Remove snow, ice, mud, and other debris before using the scaffold. Avoid using a scaffold during adverse weather, such as heavy rain, sleet, snow, or strong winds.
- Don’t climb on the scaffold frame. Use a fixed ladder, internal access stairway, or built-in ladder to access the working platform. There should be a handhold above the scaffold platform. Never climb on the scaffold with materials or tools in your hand.
Scaffolding training is to improve the safety standard of scaffolds and their workers. Field training provides practical guidance to make skilled, certified, and knowledgeable scaffold team members ensure the safe execution of scaffolding work.
Scaffolding Training modes:
- Classroom Training: – Training through classroom lectures and interaction between trainer and participants provide a fundamental understanding of the scaffold management system.
- Online Training: – Training online where the participants learn a fundamental understanding of the scaffold management system remotely.
- Practical Training: – On-field or practical training is given to the participants to develop hands-on experience and teamwork skills to enhance their practical knowledge. During practical field training, participants do erection and dismantling activities by themselves and gain valuable knowledge based on theoretical knowledge. They understand the critical process of step-by-step execution of scaffolding work.
The participants can choose classroom or online training, then continue the learning process with Practical Training. During the field training, participants understand the step-by-step erection and dismantling process, which involves safety aspects of the Scaffolding Management system, which is an integral part of the whole process. The training program covers planning to design and from erection to dismantling.
Keep your business safe by reducing scaffold-related incidents with OSHA safety certification.