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.