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Scaffold Inspections for Job Site Safety

Scaffolding problems on a job site are one of the most frequent safety violations cited by OSHA. Maintaining compliance with scaffolding safety standards not only reduces your risk of receiving a citation, but it also creates a safer work environment for workers and lowers the cost of workers compensation claims.

What are some of the key components of scaffolding safety? In order to be safe, scaffolding must be:

  • Out of the way of egress, exits, paths, and fire safety systems.
  • Level and supported by bracing, resting on a firm foundation.
  • A safe distance from power lines.
  • Free and protected from debris and falling objects.
  • Made of fire-retardant material.
  • At least 18 inches wide on platforms.

The general safety requirements established by OSHA for scaffolding can be found here.

While you can observe the condition of scaffolding on the job site, the standard requires that a "competent person" complete inspections on a frequent enough basis to uncover problems before they become safety concerns. Competence in this sense refers to someone who:

  • Has completed training about the requirements of OSHA's scaffold standard.
  • Can readily identify hazards.
  • Is able to correct problems and eliminate hazards.

A scaffold inspection must take place after it is built, before it used, and periodically in the course of the job. The specific timeline for inspection has deliberately been left vague by OSHA because inspections should take place often enough that safety threats are identified before they arise.  Contact us to schedule your inspection.

Published in Miscellaneous

At Scott Henson Architecture, we can't overemphasize the importance of site safety plan preparation.  More than 20% of workplace fatalities happen in the construction business, according to OSHA, so having a proactive plan to keep your job site safe is not only good business - it can really save lives.

The key components of a typical site safety plan are:

  • New employee and ongoing staff training, including rules for when to use and where to find personal protective equipment.
  • Inspection of the site and all equipment, followed by periodic audits. Electrocutions are the second-highest cause of death in construction, so we take care that our equipment is always in good working order.
  • Accountability, both on the leadership side and on the employee side.

We put in writing, in simple, clear language, the important facts:

WHO is in charge of maintaining the safety of our job site.

WHAT the rules and expectations are.  (For instance, everyone has to use protective eye wear.)

WHEN an accident happens, the process for dealing with it.

WHERE personal protective equipment is kept.

WHY everyone is responsible for safety.

The GC or site manager can't be everywhere at once, and just meeting the minimum legal requirements isn't enough to keep an accident from happening. Every construction project must have a set of standards in place so that anyone on the site can react quickly to a safety situation.  

Interested in innovative solutions for building maintenance and historic preservation?

Contact us to discuss your next project.

Published in Miscellaneous

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