Construction workers routinely use scaffolding during their workday. It is estimated that over 2 million workers use scaffolding on their job sites. Statistics show that every year over 60 workers die and 4500 are injured while either using or erecting scaffolding. These numbers clearly show a need for constant and additional training and protection for workers that use scaffolding.
There are basically three types of scaffolds in use in the construction industry, supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds and other scaffolds such as arial and scissor lifts.
This program will focus on supported scaffolds and provide important information to keep you safe. The contents of this program will include definitions common to scaffolds, duties of a competent person and a qualified person, training requirements and scaffold requirements.
OSHA defines a scaffold as an elevated temporary work platform, and it’s supporting structure used for supporting employees or materials or both. A supported scaffold is one or more platforms supported by rigid mode bearing members, such as poles, posts, uprights, legs, frames, and outriggers.
A competent person is an individual who is capable through training and experience of identifying existing and predictable hazards related to scaffolds or other work site equipment or procedures and has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
A qualified person is an individual who possesses a recognized degree certificate of professional standing, or has extensive knowledge, training, and experience and therefore can resolve problems related to the work or the project.
The maximum intended load of a scaffolding is the total of all personal equipment, tools, materials, transmitted loads, and other loads reasonably anticipated to be applied to the scaffold or scaffold component at any one time.
Duties of Competent Person
Competent person has specific duties when it comes to scaffolds on a job site and is required to be present on all sites where scaffolding is used. They are to train employees involved in erecting disassembling moving, operating, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting scaffolds to recognize associated work hazards. The competent person must choose and direct the workers who are wrecked, dismantle, move or alter scaffolds.
A competent person is to determine if it is safe for employees to work on or from a scaffold during storms or high winds. Other competent person duties include ensuring that a personal follow rest system or windscreens protect employees and to determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection and access for erectors and dismantlers.
The competent person must also make sure that a scaffold will be structurally sound if intermixing components from different manufacturers. One of their most important functions is inspecting the scaffold. Scaffolds must be inspected including scaffolding components for visible defects before each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect the scaffolding.
Duties of Qualified Person
A qualified person must determine the type of scaffold needed for the job and be able to design and load scaffolds in accordance with that design. As part of the design procedure, the qualified person will determine the maximum load of the scaffolding, assure a good foundation and avoid any electrical hazards
There are two groups of workers that are associated with scaffoldings, those that erect and or dismantle the scaffold, and those that use the scaffold for work purposes. OSHA requires job-specific training for both groups of employees all pertinent training information including dates, subject matter covered, names and times should be documented and kept on file in a location decided upon by your employer.
Employees that are responsible for assembling and disassembling the scaffolds are referred to as erectors and dismantlers. OSHA requires these individuals to be trained by a competent person. Erector dismantler training includes the nature of scaffolding hazards, and the proper procedures for erecting, disassembling and repairing the type of scaffolding to be utilized.
Training should also include design criteria, maximum intended load capacity, and intended use of the scaffold along with any other pertinent requirements.
Individuals whose work requires them to be supported by the scaffolding to be able to reach elevated work areas are referred to as scaffold users.
At Arbrit, we provide exquisite and indepth scaffolding safety training through out UAE.
- A friendly, practical learning environment – by tradespeople for tradespeople
- Professionally structured classes
- The highest quality training fully compliant with WorkSafe regulations
- Internationally certified STI certification
- Courses in national certification
- Experienced trainers
- Affordable certification to work in UAE
Employers must retrain workers when there is a reason to believe that the worker lacks the necessary skills or understanding to safely erect use or dismantle a scaffolding. OSHA specifically mandates that retraining is required in the following situations.
Changes at the work site that present a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained.
Changes in the types of social scaffolds fall protection, falling object protection for other equipment that presents a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained inadequacies in an effective employee word that indicates they have not retained the initial training. The competent person and others must be on the lookout at all times to determine when retraining is necessary.
There are many hazards associated with scaffolding. injuries can occur because of a lack of training, lack of necessary equipment, improper equipment, improper use of equipment, inappropriate work behavior, or a combination of these hazards.
Some possible hazardous conditions that can lead to accidents and injuries include falls from elevation.due to lack of fall protection, unsafe access, and slips, the collapse of the scaffold due to incident ability, overloading or bad planking, tools, and other materials could fall from the scaffold and injured workers below. Never access a platform by climbing cross bracing, electrocution, mainly caused by scaffold being placed to close to energize overhead lines.
Remember to play scaffolds at least 10 feet away from the electric line depending on the line voltage.
Scaffolding must be built on a stable base foundation. It must be square and level. Set all scaffoldings on base plates, mud sills or another adequate firm foundation. Footings must be capable of supporting the loaded scaffolding. Front End loaders and forklifts should not be used to support scaffolding unless specifically designed for such use by the manufacturer and permitted by the qualified person on the job site.
Poles, frames and uprights must be plumbed and braced to prevent swaying and displacement Use of a level is the best way to achieve the desired right angles.
The integrity of the support structure of scaffolds is very important. As noted earlier, scaffolds can only be erected, moved, dismantled and or altered under the supervision of a competent person. And only by experienced and trained employees selected by the competent person, scaffold and their components must be capable of supporting without failure their own way, and at least four times their maximum intended load.
Never alter a scaffolding unless it is done under the approval and direction of a competent person. Frames and panels must be connected by cross horizontal or diagonal braces. When frames are stacked. Cross braces must be of sufficient length to keep the scaffold plump, level, and square.
All brace connections must be secure to prevent this lodging frames and pay must be joined together vertically by coupling or stacking pins or equivalent means and must be locked together to prevent uplift.
Scaffold components made by different manufacturers or have different metals must never be utilized on the same scaffolding unless approved by the competent person. Components should not be modified to make them fit together, the chances of experiencing a fall our greatest when climbing onto or off the scaffold.
We provide STI certification (Scaffold Training Institute, Texas, US) through out UAE. The Scaffold Training Institute is a worldwide leader in providing scaffold training programs. Scaffold Training Institute programs have been used to train over 250,000 workers around the world since 1991, making it perhaps the number one source of scaffold training materials worldwide. STI provides both direct training by our instructors, and Train The Trainer programs to certify attendees to conduct training using STI materials. To get more details on the training call our training consultant at +971-4-331-3815.
Safe access must be provided. workers that erect and these metal scaffolds are at even greater risk because the scaffolding is not complete and secure when they are performing their work.
There are many different forms of access that can be utilized ladders such as portable poke on a tangible and stairway, stair towers, ramps and walkways, integral prefabricated frames and direct access from other surface workers might be able to safely access any level of a scaffold that is two feet above or below an access point.
Never climbed crossbars to gain access to the scaffold. Direct access to or from another surface is only permitted when the scaffolding is not more than 14 inches horizontally and not more than 24 inches vertically from the other surface.
The type of scaffold access needed will determine the appropriate guardrails, rest platforms, stair rails, handrails, cleats, and other safety measures. A competent person will determine the safety and feasibility of installing and using the safe means of access based on site conditions and the scaffold type.
Fall is the number one hazard when working with scaffolds. Fall protection must be used on any scaffold, 10 feet or more above a lower level. fall protection can consist of a personal fall arrest system or a guard rail system and must meet OSHA standards.
Personal fall arrest systems used on scaffolding must be attached by lanyard to a vertical Lifeline, horizontal Lifeline or scaffolding structural member designed for the tie off the anchor. Vertical lifelines must be fastened to a fixed safe anchorage point, not part of the scaffold, and be protected from sharp edges and abrasions never attach vertical lifelines to each other, or to the same anchorage point.
Horizontal lifelines must be secured to two or more structural members of the scaffold.
Guard rail systems must be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms and must be completed before the scaffolding is allowed to be used by workers. Other than the erection dismantling workers, walkways within the scaffold must have guard rail systems installed within nine and a half inches of and along at least one side of the walkway.
The top rail must be able to withstand a force of at least 200 pounds apply either downward or horizontally at any point along its top edge. The top edge height of top rails must be between 38 and 45 inches, mid-rails, screens, mesh intermediate vertical members and solid panels must be able to withstand a force of at least 150 pounds applied in any downward or horizontal direction.
At any point along the mid-rail or another support member. Mid rails must be installed at a height approximately midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and platform surface. If utilized screens and mesh must extend from the top edge of the guardrail system to the scaffold platform.
Intermediate members, such as validators or additional rails must not be more than 19 inches apart.
Guard rails should have a smooth surface and not create a puncture or laceration hazard and rails should not extend beyond their terminal post. Cross racing may serve as a top rail or mid-rail.
Providing the crossing point is between 20 and 30 inches above the work platform for a mid-rail, or between 38 and 48 inches above the work platform for a top rail. When feasible, safe and practical, fall protection for workers erecting or dismantling scaffolding must be provided.
The competent person is responsible for determining the safety and feasibility of the fall protection required. The platform is the work area of the scaffolding, except when it is only used as a walkway.
Inspections of the scaffold platform must include safety checks of both the platform structure and how the platform is used by the workers. Each platform must be fully playing for the deck between the front uprights The guardrail supports scaffolding planking must be able to support without failure its own way and at least four times the intended load.
Planks can be properly sized and some wood prefabricated planks or fabricated platforms may be used as scaffold planks and platforms as long as they are manufacturer-approved, or have been accepted by a lumber grading association or Inspection Agency.
Platforms and walkways must be at least 18 inches wide in areas that are so narrow that they must be less than 18 inches wide. Fall protection must be provided and used. Do not allow items such as tools, scrap or material to accumulate on the platform and become a slip, trip or fall hazard.
When moving platforms to the next level, the existing platform must be left undisturbed, until the new end frames have been set in place and braced. There should not be more than a 14-inch gap between the scaffold platform and the structure being worked on.
An 18-inch gap is permitted for labeling and plastering and masonry work only to prevent slippage. Platforms must be completed for restraint at each end, or overlap center line support by at least six inches.
Generally, each end of a platform may not extend over it support more than 12 inches for platforms which are 10 feet or shorter in length, or more than 18 inches for black forms which are more than 10 feet long.
On scaffolding where platforms are overlapped to create a long platform. The overlap may only occur over supports, and may not be less than 12 inches unless the platforms are restrained to prevent movement.
No gaps greater than one inch are permitted between adjacent planks or deck units, or between the platform and the uprights. Gaps may be larger if it can be demonstrated that a wider space is necessary. The maximum width of a gap is nine and one-half inches. platform edges may be marked for identification purposes only. Wouldn’t planking can not be covered with opaque finishes.
On scaffolds, where platforms are butted to create a long platform, each butted end must rest on a separate support surface. When platforms must overlap because of the scaffolding changes direction. Platforms that rest on a bearer at an angle other than a right angle shall be laid first. And platforms that rest at right angles over the same bearer shall be laid second on top of the first platform.
A platform must be able to support its own weight plus four times the maximum intended load. Never load the scaffold or any part thereof beyond the maximum intended load. Scaffolding can be commonly overloaded by too many workers on the platform too much material on the platform, or too much load concentrated in one area or point.
Protecting the employees
To protect employees that work on scaffolds, certain steps must be taken.
- Workers should always be hard hats.
- Scaffolds should have job boards, screens or guard rail system debris nets to keep objects from falling to lower levels.
- Canopy structures can be utilized where practical, store materials and place objects away from the edge of the surface from which they may fall.
- Workers working below the scaffolding must also be protected by barricading the area to keep them out of danger and must be used when objects could fall from the scaffolds that are too heavy to be stopped by other protective means.
- Install toe-boards along the edge of platforms that are more than 10 feet above lower levels. Toeboards must be able to withstand a force of at least 50 pounds applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point in life. The toe board and to be at least three and one-half inches from the top edge to the level of the walking-working surface.
- The use of paneling for screening, a guardrail system, canopy structure, debris net, or catch platform can protect workers that are working on lower levels, scaffolds must remain upright to be safe and useful. As a general rule, a scaffold becomes inherently unstable once its height is four times its minimum base dimension.
- Weather and damage the structural components can also affect the stability of a scaffold.
- When a scaffolding reaches a height that is more than four times its minimum base dimension. It must be restrained by guys’ ties or braces to prevent it from tipping.
- Scaffolds must be inspected for visible defects before each shift by a competent person. And after any event that could affect the scaffolds, integrity, any part of a scaffold that has been damaged weakened, must be repaired, replaced, braced or removed from service so that OSHA strength requirements are met.
- Scaffolds cannot be moved horizontally while workers are on them unless specifically designed for such purpose.
- Workers should not work on or from a scaffold during storms or strong winds unless it is determined to be safe by the competent person, and the workers are protected by either personal fall arrest systems or windscreens. Scaffolds are usually made of metal and are built upward to reach elevated work areas.
The electrical lines are often present overhead. The combination of both can be very dangerous and can put workers at risk of electrocution. proper clearance and following basic rules can help eliminate the risk scaffold should be constructed so that there are at least 10 feet between it and any power line.
This 10-foot distance applies to any part of the scaffolding and tools, equipment or material that might be used on the scaffolding. As a general precaution, the 10-foot rule should always be applied. Voltages over 50 kilo volts require distances greater than 10 feet.
Scaffolds can only be closer to overhead power lines if such proximity is necessary for the type of work being performed, and if the power company or electrical system operator has been notified, and has either de-energize the lines, relocated the lines, or installed protective coverings over the lines to prevent accidental contact with the lines.
Portable electrical equipment such as tools, cord sets, and generators can pose a serious electrical hazard for workers on or around scaffolds. If the electrical equipment develops a short the entire scaffolding metal frame and components can become energized.
All portable electric equipment must be protected by GFC eyes or an assured equipment grounding conductor program. A worker that receives a shock will often lose their balance and suffer a fall. Fall protection should be utilized by workers that use portable electrical equipment on scaffolds.
Scaffolds will continue to be used on construction sites and will continue to pose hazards.
Always follow the scaffold manufacturers’ rules and your company’s regulations. If you see an unsafe condition on or near a scaffold, always report it to your supervisor. By doing so you can be a proactive member of the team, the team that prevents injuries.
If you like to get your team trained with us call us +971-4-331-3815, +971-545844385, +971-545844386