Scaffolding Safety

Scaffolding Safety
Posted on in Safety Managers, Volunteers

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1. Scaffolding Design and Erection: 

  • Scaffolds should be designed by a qualified person and constructed in accordance with that design.
  • Platforms on all working levels of scaffolds shall be fully planked or decked between the front uprights and the guardrail supports.
  • Scaffold supports should rest on base plates and mud sills or other adequate foundation.
  • Footings shall be level, sound, rigid, and capable of supporting the loaded scaffold without settling or displacement.


2. Scaffolding Planking or Walk Boards: 

  • Platforms should extend at least 6 inches beyond their supports unless cleated or otherwise restrained to the support.
  • Platforms less than 10 feet in length should not extend more than 12 inches beyond the supports unless specifically designed to support weight on the sections beyond the supports without tipping or guardrails prevent access to those sections.
  • Platforms greater than 10 feet in length should not extend more than 18 inches beyond the supports unless specifically designed to support weight on the sections beyond the supports without tipping or guardrails prevent access to those sections.
  • On scaffolds where scaffold planks are abutted to create a long platform, each abutted end shall rest on a separate support surface. Common support members such as abutting planks or hook on platforms designed to rest on common supports can be used.
  • On scaffolds where platforms are overlapped to create a long platform, the overlap shall occur only over supports, and shall not be less than 12 inches unless the platforms are nailed together or otherwise restrained to prevent movement.


3. Scaffolding Railings: 

  • Working or walking surfaces over 6 feet in height must be protected by guardrail systems unless safety nets or personal fall protection systems are utilized.
  • The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, shall be 42 inches plus or minus 3 inches above the walking/working level. When there is no wall or parapet at least 21 inches high, a midrail should be installed.
  • Midrails, when used, shall be installed at a height midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the walking/working level.
  • Crossbracing is acceptable in place of a midrail when the crossing point of the two braces is between 20 inches and 30 inches above the work platform. It is acceptable as a toprail when the crossing point is between 38 and 48 inches above the work platform. The endpoints at each upright shall be no more than 48 inches apart.
  • Toeboards, when used as falling object protection, shall be erected along the edge of the overhead walking/working surface for a distance sufficient to protect employees below.
  •  Toeboards shall be a minimum height of 3 . inches above the walking/working surface


4. Scaffolding Access:

  • When scaffolding platforms are more than 2 feet above or below access points, a means to access the platform should be provided. This means can include portable ladders, attachable ladders, hook on ladders, ramps, etc.
  • Cross braces should not be used as a means to access scaffolding platforms.


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