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FALLPROTECTION || Scaffolding · PDF file scaffolding. Immediately repair replace any portion of the scaffolding that is found to be damaged. Scaffold planks should extend over end

Mar 05, 2020




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    Scaffolding is a temporary structure used on indoor and outdoor work sites as a walking or working surface for work crews to assist in maintenance, construction, and repair. When constructed and used properly, scaffolds provide a safe platform to complete work at heights and areas that would be otherwise difficult to reach. This safety topic is focused on the proper use of scaffolds and how to prevent potential falls, injuries or worse.

    FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding Volume 1 Issue 63

    OSHA Standard 1926 Subpart L covers Scaffolding

    Common hazards associated with scaffolds are:

    • Falls from elevation, due to lack of fall protection

    • Collapse of the scaffold, caused by instability or overloading

    • Being struck by falling tool or debris, due to lack of proper guardrails

    • Electrocution, due to the proximity of the scaffold to overhead power lines

    • Unsecured planking, that may cause slips or falls

    • Untrained personnel, or lack of a competent person on site when scaffolding is in use

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    1. Top Rail: 38”- 45” from the platform surface

    2. Mid Rail: midway between top rail and the platform surface

    3. Toeboard: 3 ½” high and secured to the platform surface


    Volume 1 Issue 63 FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding

    OSHA Standard 1926.451(g)(1) states each employee on a scaffold more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above a lower level shall be protected from falling to that lower level.

    Toeboard 3 ½”

    Guardrails must be used if performing work on scaffolding at heights of 10 feet or more to prevent falls.

    Guardrails consist of 3 components:


    Dangerous! Missing rails and no fall protection provided.

    Mid Rail 19”- 23”

    Top Rail 38”- 45”

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    Volume 1 Issue 63 FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding

    OSHA Standard 1926.451(g)(1)(i) states each employee on a boatswains' chair, catenary scaffold, float scaffold, needle beam scaffold, or ladder jack scaffold shall be protected by a personal fall arrest system.

    While working at heights of 10 feet or more on scaffolding, employees must wear personal fall protection, such as a body harness, and/or ensure a guardrail is in place.

    Personal fall protection shall:

    ✓ be inspected prior to use

    ✓ not be attached to a guardrail system

    ✓ not be attached to hoisting equipment unless the system prevents the employee from walking off the work surface

    Worker wearing personal fall protection on boatswain chair.


    Trainee wearing personal fall protection on scaffold. (*4) (*3)

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    Volume 1 Issue 63 FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding

    In addition to ensuring there is proper fall protection, here are more safety tips that should be followed when working on scaffolding to prevent falls:

    ➢ Employees shall not climb cross braces or end frames, unless end frames are designed to be climbed.

    ➢ An access ladder, stair tower or equivalent safe access shall be provided for all scaffolding.

    ➢ Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase height.

    ➢ Employees are prohibited from working on scaffolds covered with snow, ice, or other slippery materials, except to remove these substances.

    ➢ Do not jump on planks or platforms.

    ➢ Do not work on scaffolds during high winds.

    ➢ Do not load a scaffold in excess of its rated working load.

    ➢ Do not move any scaffold while employees are on them.

    ➢ Do not mix scaffold components or force pieces to fit together when building the scaffold. This can severely compromise the strength of the scaffolding system.

    ➢ Lock casters and wheels when scaffold is in place.


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    More important reminders when working on or near scaffolding on the jobsite:

    Volume 1 Issue 63 FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding

    ➢ All employees who erect, handle use, inspect, clean or dismantle scaffolding must be trained by a competent person. All users must be trained to spot and report hazards.

    ➢ Scaffolds and all components shall be inspected by a competent person before each work shift, after changing weather conditions, or after prolonged work interruptions.

    ➢ Use only the safe means of access on any scaffolding.

    ➢ Immediately repair replace any portion of the scaffolding that is found to be damaged.

    ➢ Scaffold planks should extend over end supports not less than 6-inches or more than 18-inches.

    ➢ Do not let loose materials, tools or debris accumulate on any scaffold.

    ➢ Areas below scaffold work should be barricaded unless a protective canopy is installed.

    ➢ Be aware of overhead power lines in your work area. Most overhead power lines are not insulated and a safe distance will need to be maintained between the power line and the scaffolding.

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    COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER This material is the copyrighted property of, LLC. Purchase of this material from, LLC grants the owner the right to use this material for workplace safety and education purposes only. Use of this material for any other purpose, particularly commercial use, is prohibited. This material, including the photos, may not be resold., LLC does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in these materials. Photos shown in this presentation may depict situations that are not in compliance with applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety requirements. These materials are meant for informational purposes only and it is not the intent of, LLC to provide compliance-based training. The intent is more to address hazard awareness in the construction and related industries, and to recognize the potential hazards present in many workplaces. These materials are intended to discuss Federal Regulations only, as individual State requirements may be more stringent. Many states operate their own state OSHA and may have standards that are different from information presented in this training. It is the responsibility of the employer and its employees to comply with all pertinent OSHA safety rules and regulations in the jurisdiction in which they work.


    Unless specified below, all photos are the copyrighted property of, LLC and may not be used in any other training materials or resold for any purpose.

    For more information on this weekly safety topic, other topics that are available and the full list of FAQs please visit or email [email protected]


    • (*1) Photo Credit – OSHA Supported Scaffolds.

    • (*2) Photo Credit – Zastita portal; Fall protection training.[email protected]/15236176640/

    • (*3) Photo Credit – christine.gleason; Washing Away Summer.

    • (*4) Photo Credit – Premier of Alberta.

    • (*5) Photo Credit – Michael Coghlan; Improvising.

    Creative Commons License:

    Volume 1 Issue 63 FALL PROTECTION || Scaffolding

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