SAFETY TIP: SCAFFOLD SAFETY
December 3, 2019

Inspect scaffolds and their parts daily and after any event that may cause damage to the scaffold system. Consistent and thorough inspections of scaffolding are crucial to ensure worker safety.  Scissor lifts are considered scaffold.

  • Be certain that scaffolds and all tools and materials are kept at least 10 feet away from power lines or that those nearby are de-energized
  • Verify the scaffold is the correct type for the particular job's loads, materials, employees and weather conditions
  • Check the footing to ensure it is sound and stable and can hold the loaded scaffold, including your weight
  • Check legs, posts, frames and uprights to see if they are on base plates or mudsills
  • Metal components should be inspected for rust, holes, broken welds and non-compatible parts.  Non-compatible parts means same manufacturer
  • Ensure safe access - do not use the cross-braces as a ladder for access or exit
  • Check for cracks or splits in wooden planks greater than one-quarter inch
  • If the planks deflect one-sixtieth of the span or 2 inches in a 10 foot wooden plank, the plank has been damaged and must not be used
  • Planks should be close together, with no more than 1 inch of space around uprights
  • Be sure 10 foot or shorter planks are 6 to 12 inches over the center line of the support, and that 10 foot or longer planks are no more than 18 inches over the end


Remember to practice hazard recognition and avoidance at all times.  Either correct the hazard or seek help to eliminate the hazard through your supervisor or call your safety department.  Safety is prevention of injury and illness, not reacting to injury or illness through medical treatment and workers compensation act.

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