What OSHA requires for scaffolding safety

If you are among the many Pennsylvania residents who work in construction jobs or other roles that routinely feature the use of scaffolding, you know that that you face serious risks every day. Many workers’ injuries and fatal accidents happen from scaffold falls. Because of the inherent dangers, theOccupational Health and Safety Administration has developed stringent guidelines for the setup and use of scaffolds on job sites.

Employers must follow the parameters set out by OSHA as part of the requirement to provide all employees a safe work environment. Some of these include:

  • While in use, scaffolding cannot be repositioned or changed in any horizontal manner.
  • Planking is allowed to extend over the end supports but that extension must be between six and 18 inches.
  • The platforms have to overlap each other by a minimum of 12 inches. If they do not overlap, they have to be secured so as to prevent any movement.
  • Scaffolding is rated to hold up to a maximum amount of load weight based upon its intended use and must be able to hold four times that load. However, it can only be used for its intended maximum load.
  • If scaffolding is damaged in any way, it must be repaired prior to additional use.

Footings or anchorage for scaffolding cannot be provided by any item that is unstable or loose such as a box, blocks or bricks.

The prevention of a workplace accident is the reason for these guidelines. You can learn more about on-the-job injury claims at our website’s workplace injury page.