A Checklist for Safe Use of Construction Site Scaffolding. How Does Your Employer Fare?

Implementing a daily checklist for a job site’s scaffolding can drastically improve the safety of a construction site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that approximately 9,750 injuries are related to inadequate scaffolding safety, and that 9% of construction worker fatalities are attributable to subpar scaffolding.

The United States Department of Labor has established industry standards for construction site safety, and has set forth specific criteria for avoiding scaffolding-related injuries.

OSHA scaffolding safety protocols

OSHA’s Federal Register mandates extensive requirements for construction site scaffolding. Here are some of the most important takeaways that you should be on the lookout for daily in a construction environment.

  • Capacity: All scaffolding and scaffolding components must be capable of supporting its own weight and four times the maximum intended load applied to that scaffolding.
  • Platform Construction: All non-walkway platforms should have no spaces between them larger than one inch, with few exceptions, like when using side brackets.
  • Scaffolding Support: Scaffolding must be restrained in order to avoid the structure swaying or tipping over. If scaffolding at your construction site has a height to base width ratio of 4:1 or more, you must tie or brace the inner and outer legs of the structure.
  • Maximum Intended Loads: Scaffolding and its components must not be overloaded. Overloading scaffolding could, in a worst-case scenario, lead to collapse. Construction workers should also avoid exceeding the stated capacity of the scaffolding, even if it should also be able to hold four times the maximum intended load.
  • Safe Access: When working on scaffolding, you must be able to access the platforms safely. A ladder or other type of safe access must be provided to construction workers.

Is your employer in compliance?

You have the right to a hazard-free workplace at any construction site in the United States. If you have been injured due to your employer’s failure to maintain a safe job site, call a seasoned personal injury attorney to handle your claim. With over 30 years of experience, the Law Offices of Evan W. Kohn are prepared to advocate for you. Contact us or call 718-409-5500 for a free consultation today. Se habla español.