Learn about OSHA’s scaffolding safety requirements as well as who is authorized to conduct an inspection and how often it should be done. Comply with industry standards and make the workplace a safer place with checklists and app.
Lumiform enables you to conduct digital inspections via app easier than ever before.
Get a kickstart with one of our +12000 ready-made and free checklists
Ever seen a construction worker walking along an ultra-thin plank on the side of an impossibly high building? Then you already know what scaffolding is. It’s the ladder-like structure temporarily built alongside buildings, bridges, and other construction sites so that workers may have access to otherwise hard-to-reach places.
However, working at heights poses some risks to employees and passersby. That's why there are several requirements that must be met when erecting and using scaffolding. An inspection of the scaffold by a specialist for occupational safety or other qualified personnel ensures that scaffolding is in accordance with the applicable regulations.
To perform a risk assessment in scaffolding construction according to a industries standards is useful for identifying recurring assembly and equipment errors. Digital checklists provide an excellent basis for conducting a critical and thorough assessment of a scaffold to ensure that it is safe to bear weight.
Construction scaffolding is a part of the abreast foundation. After all, nearly 65% of construction work is done using scaffolding. However, the risk of accidents when using such a structure is also very high. Almost 72% of work accidents on construction sites is related to scaffolding. Often, the planks give way, part of the support system collapses, or there was a slip on one of the planks.
Because scaffolding accidents happen all the time and cause serious injuries, it is essential that thorough inspections of construction site scaffolding take place. These help to manage and control the associated risks.
Thorough scaffold inspections identify both the obvious and subliminal hazards that threaten the stability of the ground, scaffold tower, and work structure. This is where the use of a step-by-step checklist of specific items on a scaffold structure is essential to ensure the safety of all workers on a job site. This includes instructing employees on the safety requirements for installing and assembling scaffolding.
Before performing an inspection on scaffolding, every company should be aware of its responsibilities to its employees and passersby. Thorough safety plans and regular inspections help manage and control potential hazards and risks. This includes a marking system to identify both safe and unsafe equipment and the training of staff so they are aware of regulations and hazards. Below are some of OHSA’s standard inspection regulations for the construction industry:
Because of the level of risk involved with using scaffolding for construction and maintenance projects, not only as an occupational hazard in a chosen career path but also to civilians walking many stories below, not just anyone is allowed to determine when a scaffold is safe to use. So who gets to give it the go-ahead?
Accroding to OSHA, which regulates the health and safety regulations for all workers, a ‘competent person’ must be in charge of the inspections. OSHA defines a competent person as, “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.”
In order to be a competent person, one must be both trained and knowledgeable in safety relating to scaffolding. OSHA’s training requirements for scaffolding inspections are as follows:
If you’re wondering what an OSHA scaffolding inspection checklist looks like, you can find one here.
Now that we’ve determined who gets to give a scaffolding project the green light, that brings us to our next line of business.
When should a worker inspect a scaffold? As already stated, a scaffolding inspection can only be conducted by knowledgeable and trained personnel who has the authority to take corrective action when safety concerns arise. So to answer the question, a scaffold needs to be inspected right after it’s constructed and before its use, and then prior to each working shift. After that, it will need to be inspected more thoroughly at a minimum of a seven-day interval unless an event should occur that jeopardizes the integrity of the structure. These events might include severe weather events, such as high winds, hail, or ice.
With Lumiform's free scaffolding safety app, digital checklists can be used to conduct comprehensive inspections of scaffolding. This optimizes safety on every job site. Data, as well as image material, can be easily captured via smartphone or tablet and evaluated via desktop software. This helps prevent injuries when working on scaffolding.
The mobile, powerful app offers for scaffolding safety: