Scaffold Safety L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T

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1 L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T Scaffold Safety Scaffolds are useful tools to access elevated work areas. Appearing more stable and providing a larger work platform than ladders, they seem to be even easier and safer to use. However, poor set-up and misuse can result in serious workplace injury or death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that: 17% of all construction related falls resulting in a fatality involved a scaffold 72% of these scaffold accidents were caused by unsafe setup, use or failure to protect the worker from falling material 25% of workers injured in scaffold accidents had received no scaffold safety training 77% of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails when required These findings are neither unusual nor unique. Besides the impact these claims have on the cost of insurance, there are also many other costs which can significantly impact your business. When you consider the cost of replacing damaged equipment, the loss of a productive worker, lost production, possible damage to customer property, it makes sense to prevent these losses instead of continually trying to overcome their costly results. This Alert provides some suggested safe practices that may be useful in preventing scaffold related worker injuries. It does not address all regulatory requirements or best practices. Selection: There are many different types of scaffolds all designed for specific purposes. Scaffolds generally fall into three categories: Supported: Platforms supported by rigid, load bearing members such as poles, legs, frames and outriggers Suspended: Platforms suspended by ropes or other non-rigid means from an overhead structure Aerial Lifts: Vehicle mounted devices used to get a worker to an elevated position (e.g. cherry pickers or boom trucks) Knowing the purpose of these scaffolds will help to select the right one for the job. Once the type of scaffold is determined, the next step is to determine the strength needed for the specific tasks. In general, all scaffolds, manufactured or constructed, must be able to support their own weight plus four times their maximum intended loads. The supporting capability of a scaffold, or its duty rating, is stated in pounds per square foot. There are 3 scaffold duty ratings: Duty Rating Capacity (lbs. /sq. ft.) Light 25 Medium 50 Heavy 75 Additionally, key scaffold components such as suspension rope and connecting hardware must be able to support six times the maximum intended load. OSHA has published scaffold design specifications as part of their scaffold safety regulations. The intent of these specifications is to aid in their fabrication. They can also be used to assure that purchased or rented scaffolds meet OSHA requirements. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has also published design specifications for aerial lifts and other mobile elevating scaffolds.

2 Page 2 Inspection: A competent person, an individual that has the skills to identify scaffold safety hazards and has the authority to promptly correct or eliminate them, must inspect all scaffolds before each work shift and periodically during their use and after each adverse weather event. This individual must supervise all scaffold assemblies, changes, movement, or dismantling. Inspections must address all supporting members, anchors, platforms, clearance requirements, and proximity hazards such as power lines and fall protection specific to each scaffold type. The inspections also must verify that is the scaffold is level and plumb, the base plates are in firm contact with sills, bracing is in place and connected, platforms are fully planked, guardrails in place, safe access is provided, it is properly tied or guyed and that there are no overhead obstructions within 12 feet. Wood planks should be inspected to verify that they are the correct grade and in good condition, straight grained, and free from saw cuts, splits and holes. When platform height exceeds 4 ft., guard rails are recommended but not required by OSHA. OSHA requires guard rails for all platforms 10 ft. or higher. (California requires guardrails for all platforms 7 ½ feet or higher) Guardrails should be installed on all open sides and ends. Toe boards, screens or barricades need to be in place to prevent material falling off the scaffold and canopies installed to protect scaffold workers from debris falling from above. Safety nets, designed to contain materials, tools and equipment should be installed when scaffolds are erected over high worker, pedestrian or equipment/material transport traffic areas. Scaffolds need to be erected plumb, level, squared and braced to prevent collapse. Mobile scaffolds need to have lockable and functioning wheels and casters. Non-mobile scaffolds should be anchored in place to prevent movement. Do not place footings on soft or frozen ground or resting on blocks. Base plates or screw jacks with base plates must be in firm contact with both the sills and the legs of the scaffolding. Compensate for uneven ground with screw jacks with base plates. DO NOT USE unstable objects such as blocks, loose bricks, etc. Scaffolds must be secured when the height exceeds 4 times the minimum base width. (California requires stability bracing when the scaffold height exceeds 3 times the minimum base width). Job sites should be inspected to assure ground conditions are able to support the scaffold and for proximity of electric power lines, overhead obstructions, wind conditions as well as the need for overhead protection or weather protection coverings. For suspended scaffolds, the supporting outrigger beams must be able to support at least 4 times the intended load and be attached to the roof, tied to a secure anchorage, or secured with counterweights. The suspension ropes and rigging must support at least 6 times the intended load. Counterweights made of non-viscous material must be attached to secure and strong places on a building so they won t move. Sand or gravel, masonry blocks, or roofing materials cannot be used as a counterweight as these can flow or move. Exhibit C1-3 provides model scaffold inspection checklists. Proper Use and Storage: There are many accepted general and specific scaffold safe work practices. This Alert is not intended to address all of them but offers a few best practices. Scaffolds must be designed by a qualified person and constructed and loaded in accordance with that design. A qualified person is one who has sufficient knowledge, education, training or experience to solve or resolve scaffold related problems. Under certain circumstances, a professional engineer is required to design a scaffold. If the scaffold is equipped with guardrails by the manufacturer, they should be in place at all times regardless of height. Always follow manufacturer instructions and warnings! Scaffolds should not be positioned or erected within 10 feet of energized power lines. Work should not be performed when platforms are covered by ice or snow. Equipment material or ladders or should not be used on scaffold platforms to gain additional height. Safe access to the working level, via a ladder or other accepted means, needs to be provided and workers must be required to use for access.

3 Page 3 Scaffolds equipment and components should be stored in areas which do not expose them to potential damage from material handling traffic or weather conditions that may weaken or deteriorate them. Harnesses and lanyards must be used by aerial lift workers and fall protection must be in place prior to using the lift. Additionally, workers should be prohibited from moving the lift vehicle while standing in the basket unless the equipment is designed for this purpose. Mobile scaffolds should be moved from the bottom. Workers should not be permitted to move or ride on them unless they are specifically designed for that purpose or the use has been approved by a competent person. The safe working height of mobile scaffolds must not exceed four times the base dimensions unless increased stability is provided, such as additional bracing, out rigging, or guy wires. This will help to prevent tip-over. Teaching and Enforcing Safe Work Practices: Many accidents are caused by the unsafe use of scaffolds. Workers must be trained by a qualified person on the following: Hazard identification & mitigation including falls from scaffolds, struck by falling materials, scaffolding collapse etc. Scaffold design and selection Proper scaffold use and handling Maximum intended loads and how to determine if the task specific loads will exceed this capacity Safe erection, dismantling and re-locating or moving scaffolds A competent person must train any worker who assembles, takes apart, moves, operates, repairs, maintains, or inspects scaffolds. Exhibits A & B are provided to assist worker training efforts. Workers should be retrained when: Observations indicate unsafe work practices or New or additional hazards are identified or A change in the type of scaffold or fall protection occurs Management must immediately reinforce the proper and safe use of scaffolds and work practices whenever hazards are observed. Teaching tips are included with this Alert to help you address the more critical areas. A qualified person, trained in the proper setup and safe use of scaffolds, must be onsite to assure that scaffolds are properly erected and remain safe for employee use. Legal Compliance: State and Federal OSHA have specific and detailed regulations scaffolds. You should know these regulations and abide by them. The OSHA regulations concerning scaffolds can be obtained by accessing Federal OSHA s web site at or your individual state s OSHA website if applicable. Summary: Scaffolding provides for safe and efficient work platforms when constructed and used correctly. However, if not properly erected and maintained, scaffolding can lead to accidents, serious injuries and death. It is up to you to make sure that all your workers are trained in the proper selection, erection, maintenance and use of this equipment. Remember, Everest Loss Control offers services to help you in your loss prevention efforts. If you would like more information about these services, visit our web site at Loss Control is a daily responsibility of your individual management. This publication is not a substitute for your own loss control program. The information that is provided in this Alert should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, or environments. Each organization is responsible for implementing their safety/injury/illness prevention program and should consult with legal, medical, technical, or other advisors as to the suitability of using the information contained in this Alert. The information contained in this publication is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice or opinions. You should contact an attorney if you need legal advice and/or you have any questions concerning your obligations under any law, statute and/or code identified in this publication. Everest focuses on specialty property and casualty insurance business and is licensed to conduct business in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia. Everest is rated A+ XV (Superior) by A.M. Best. To learn more about Everest, visit our website at: CONTACT US Westgate Corporate Center 477 Martinsville Road P.O. Box 830 Liberty Corner, NJ Loss Control Department Phone: Fax:

4 Page 4 Exhibit A Scaffold Best Practice Tips Report defective or missing railings, toe boards, safety nets, or other fall restraint systems immediately. Do not climb on bracing and support members to reach the platform. Never use a scaffold which appears to be defective, unstable, or missing guardrails. Call your supervisor immediately. Keep the amount of tools, equipment and materials to a minimum on scaffolds to reduce slip, trip and fall accidents. Make sure the scaffold rests on stable level supports and surfaces. When using a mobile scaffold, make sure the wheels are locked before using it. Never move mobile scaffolds while they are in use or by pulling yourself along while standing on the top plank. You can easily tip the scaffold causing serious injuries. Slippery scaffold platforms should be immediately repaired or replaced. If the supporting members, footing, braces, and platforms appear to be damaged or defective, do not use the scaffold. Contact your supervisor immediately. Do not use a scaffold unless you have received training and have been authorized by your supervisor. Do not work near energized electrical lines unless you are trained and authorized by your supervisor. Maintain at least ten feet distance from all energized lines. Always access and leave scaffolds in a safe manner, using ladders, stairs or ramps. Never climb the bracing or supports to access or descend from scaffolds. Secure materials to the scaffold before moving it. Do not ride on a moving scaffold. Hoist up heavy tools, equipment, and supplies. Do not carry them. Do not work on a scaffold in high winds or a storm unless a competent person says it is safe and you use personal fall-arrest or a windscreen. Do not paint wood planks. Hard hats must be worn by all persons erecting, moving, dismantling or using scaffolding. Wear proper equipment including sturdy shoes with non-skid soles, and hard hats, whenever a hazard of falling materials exists. Do not plank guardrails or use ladders or boxes on the platform to gain additional working height. Do not remove any component of a completed scaffold assembly except under the supervision of a qualified person.

5 Page 5 Exhibit B Scaffold Safety Quiz 1. Inspections of scaffolds must be conducted: A. By a competent person B. Before each work shift C. After scaffold is erected or modified D. All of the above 2. Fall protection (i.e. guardrails or personal fall arrest system) is required on scaffolds when the working height reaches: A. 10 ft. B. 6 ft. C. 4 ft. D. 12 ft. 3. Which of the following cannot be used under the base of a scaffold to provide stable footing? A. Masonry blocks or bricks B. Screw-jacks (Leveler legs) C. Mud Sills D. None of the above 4. All scaffolds must be able to hold its own weight plus times the intended load. A. 2 B. 10 C. 7 D Who is required to supervise the erection or dismantling of a scaffold? A. Supervisor B. Competent Person C. Qualified Person D. Any worker will do 6. What is the maximum distance the front edge of most scaffolding can be from face of work? A. 14 in. B. 18 in. C. 22 in. D. 12 in. 7. Workers on or below scaffolds must be protected from falling objects by: A. Toe boards B. Mesh C. Screens D. All of the above 8. Scaffolds with a height to base ratio of more than must be restrained from tipping. A. 3 to 1 B. 6 to 1 C. 5 to 1 D. 4 to 1

6 Page 6 9. Which of the following need to be used to prevent falls off scaffolds? A. Toe boards and screens B. Hard hats C. Guardrails or PPE D. Guardrails or fall arrest 10. Which of the following can be used to prevent scaffold collapse? A. Proper construction under the direction of a competent person B. Maintaining loads to within the scaffold supporting limits C. Inspecting scaffolds before each work shift D. All of the above 11. What is the minimum distance to maintain when working near energized electrical lines? A. 8 feet B. 6 feet C. 10 feet D. 4 feet 12. Injuries from falling objects can be prevented when which of the following are used: A. Eliminating all falling object hazards B. Installing canopies C. Erecting barricades D. Using fall hazard warnings and hard hats as appropriate E. All of the above 13. It is permitted to move a mobile scaffold by pushing it from the top platform. A. True B. False 14. It is permitted to use masonry blocks on the platform to reach higher work areas. A. True B. False 15. A competent person is one who has: A. Hazard identification skills and the authority to promptly correct or eliminate them B. Has experience in erecting scaffolds but not the authority to correct hazards C. Can be anyone appointed by management

7 Page 7 Scaffold Safety Quiz Answers 1. Inspections of scaffolds must be conducted: D. All of the above 2. Fall protection (i.e. guardrails or personal fall arrest system) is required on scaffolds when the working height reaches: A. 10 ft. 3. Which of the following cannot be used under the base of a scaffold to provide stable footing? A. Masonry blocks or bricks 4. All scaffolds must be able to hold its own weight plus times the intended load. D Who is required to supervise the erection or dismantling of a scaffold? B. Competent Person 6. What is the maximum distance the front edge of most scaffolding can be from face of work? A. 14 in. 7. Workers on or below scaffolds must be protected from falling objects by: D. All of the above 8. Scaffolds with a height to base ratio of more than must be restrained from tipping. D. 4 to 1 9. Which of the following needs to be used to prevent falls off scaffolds? D. Guardrails or fall arrest 10. Which of the following can be used to prevent scaffold collapse? D. All of the above 11. What is the minimum distance to maintain when working near energized electrical lines? C. 10 feet 12. Injuries from falling objects can be prevented when which of the following are used: E. All of the above 13. It is permitted to move a mobile scaffold by pushing it from the top platform. B. False 14. It is permitted to use masonry blocks on the platform to reach higher work areas. B. False 15. A competent person is one who has: A. Hazard identification skills and the authority to promptly correct or eliminate them

8 Page 8 E V E R E S T L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T Exhibit C1: Model Scaffold Safety Inspection Checklist GENERAL SCAFFOLD REQUIREMENTS Yes No NA Checklist Item: The scaffold been constructed and loaded with a safety factor of 4 : 1 by a qualified person The gap between the platform planks and the uprights is less than inch The platform is completely planked All platforms at least 18 inches wide or protected by guardrail systems or personal fall arrest system Open sides are less than 14 inches from the work face or if greater, are protected by guardrails Open sides are less than 18 inched if lathing and plastering All platform planks are cleated, restrained by hooks extended over their supports by at least 6 Guardrails have been installed to protect contact with platform ends extending > 12 when platforms are < 10 feet Platforms > 10 ft do not extend more than 18 over their end support Planks are overlapped when they lapped over their supports Planks are overlapped at least 12 inches, nailed together or otherwise secured Abutted planks rest on separate supports The top and bottom plank surfaces are visible and void of paint A competent person approved the use of scaffold components from different manufacturers Any scaffold damage? Are scaffolds overloaded? Have slippery conditions been removed? Are there proper clearances from power lines? Has a competent person inspected the scaffold before each shift? Are ladders, boxes or other equipment being used to increase the working height? Are any shore or lean to scaffolds used? Are tag lines in use when hoisting on or near scaffold? Is there a tripping hazard from tools, material, and debris accumulation on the platform A guardrail or fall arrest system exists at heights > 10 feet Guardrails and mid-rails installed on all open sides Guardrail height is between inches Four inch toe boards are installed When mesh or screens are installed they extend from the top of the guardrail to the platform Guardrail system is capable of supporting 200 pounds force in any direction. Falling object hazards have been eliminated to the extent possible and residual hazards are controlled via canopies, barricades, fall hazard warnings and hard hats required as needed Four inch toe boards been installed Safe access exists and climbing on cross-bracing is prohibited Rest platforms are installed every 35 vertical feet Access and scaffold ladders are designed for use with the type of scaffold

9 Page 9 E V E R E S T L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T Exhibit C1 (Cont d): GENERAL SCAFFOLD REQUIREMENTS (CONT D) Yes No NA Checklist Item: Ladders have a minimum rung length of 11-1/2 inches Ladder rung spacing is uniform and no greater than 16-3/4 inches between rungs Frame designed permits it to be used as a ladder for platform access. Ladder rungs and steps line up vertically between the rest decks. Access to/from other structures is prohibited when distance is > 24 vertical or 14 horizontal. FABRICATED FRAME SCAFFOLD Vertical members of the frames are secured by lateral bracing Bracing squares and aligns the frames All brace connections are secured Coupling pins or other acceptable mechanism connects the frames Frames are locked together to prevent uplift A qualified person has evaluated the use of side brackets and their impact on the overall scaffold A registered professional engineer has designed all scaffolds over 125 feet in height MOBILE SCAFFOLDS Vertical members of the frames are secured by lateral bracing Bracing squares and aligns the frames All brace connections are secured The scaffold has the correct tube and clamp or frame for its specific type Casters are locked during use Force is applied as close to the bottom as possible when manually moving the scaffold Casters are pinned into the frames and provided with adjustment screws Scaffold is stabilized to prevent tipping during movement Employees are prohibited from riding on rolling towers when they are being moved or moving them from the top of the platform TUBE AND COUPLER SCAFFOLDS X bracing is installed on the ends; every third set of posts horizontally; and every fourth runner vertically All ties are installed at the bearer level Longitudinal bracing is installed at a 45 degree angle on both faces and extends from the first post to the scaffold top When longer than 5 posts a new line of bracing begins at every fifth post Bearers are attached to both posts and the inboard coupler rests on the runner coupler When bearers are attached to the runners they are placed as close as possible to the post The bearer tube ends are in full contact within the clamps Runners are installed on the inside and outside at level heights There are mid-rails and when outside runners are not used

10 Page 10 E V E R E S T L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T Exhibit C1 (Cont d): TUBE AND COUPLER SCAFFOLDS (CONT D) Runners are interlocked and coupled to each post Bottom runners are as close to the base as possible Light and medium-duty scaffolds have 2 O.D. steel tubing for posts, runners, bearers and braces Posts on light-duty scaffolds are spaced no greater than 4 apart by 10 along the length of the scaffold Posts on medium-duty scaffolds are spaced no more than 4 apart by 7 along the length of the scaffold SUPPORTED SCAFFOLD Scaffold meets the 4 to 1 base to height ratio or secured to the structure by ties Scaffolds are erected on firm footings capable of supporting 4 times the maximum intended load without settling Footings are stable and not subject to movement or being dislodged Scaffold is plumb and braced to prevent swaying or displacement SUSPENDED SCAFFOLD The structure can support the combined weight of the scaffold, personnel and materials Roof and parapet are protected as needed Suspension points are spaced the same as the hoists Clamps and hooks are seated and tightened correctly Outriggers are rated for the application Frames, outriggers and beam supports are assembled per manufacturer s instructions Outriggers- Calculations have been done by the rigging foreman and the proper amount of counterweight is being used Counterweights have been secured The outrigger beams are in good condition Suspension rigging points can support 4 times the hoist capacity Tiebacks are properly configured, attached and tied to adequate anchor points The wire rope can reach the bottom of the drop (plus 4 feet or 4 turns on the drum) Suspension wire rope is in good condition and suspended correctly Power cord has strain relief at all connections, all edges padded Lifelines are independently tied back to an adequate anchor point Lifelines are padded on all edges they pass over Lifeline is terminated with a bowline or a rolling hitch knot Lifeline reaches the lower level. Wire hoisting rope is in good condition. Shackles are in good condition; secured by wire. Loose materials are secured against windy conditions

11 Page 11 E V E R E S T L O S S C O N T R O L A L E R T Exhibit C1 (Cont d): SUSPENDED SCAFFOLD (CONT D) Loose materials are secured against windy conditions Lifelines and fall protection equipment inspected and in good condition All equipment is at least 10 feet clear of electrical lines A Safety Zone has been set up directly below the scaffold Hoists are in proper operating condition per manufacturer's instructions. The wire rope is reeled properly Platforms are free of debris Handrails (42 ) mid-rails and toe boards installed Uprights are in good condition and have been spaced at the proper intervals Motors are in good condition. Emergency stop is operational Stirrups are in good condition. Workers are utilizing personal fall arrest systems before getting on the scaffold Rope grabs are being used properly (not knots) and are in good condition On drum hoists, check that the rope is terminated at the drum properly, and the wraps are in good order Mesh has been installed between the top rail and toe board Operators manual attached Operators trained on: Proper hoist operations Fall protection requirements Wire rope inspection Electrical hazards Inspections Load restrictions Code of safe practices Any site specific requirements Employees working on the suspended scaffold trained by a recognized scaffold training course and all have completion cards on them Rigging foreman has been designated and has received a "Certificate of Fitness" from his/her employer

12 Page 12 Exhibit C2: Rolling Scaffold Review Checklist Account / Contact:: Completed by: Project Name / Location: Date: CHECKLIST YES NO ACTION / COMMENTS Competent person in charge of erection and inspection? Appears capable of supporting 4 times the maximum intended load? Scaffold appears plumb, square and level? Floor is solid, level and clear of holes / hazards? Outriggers used when height is 3x the least base dimension? Scaffold is properly braced with braces properly attached? Open sides protected by guardrails, mid-rails and toe boards? Platform fully planked with no more than a 1 gap? Using scaffold grade planks / platform in good condition no cracks, knots, splits or damage? Front edge of platform not more than 14 inches from work? Wheel locks / brakes in good condition? At least 2 wheels lock? Jacks / leveling screws adjusted properly? All scaffolding components match and are of the same type? Safe access available to working platforms? Access does not require climbing over rails? Electrical clearances meet OSHA standards? Surfing prohibited? Are all braces, sections and clamps secured and pinned? Platforms free of debris, mud good housekeeping? Scaffold free of makeshift devices or ladders to increase height? Are employees working around the scaffold wearing hardhats? Other

13 Page 13 Exhibit C3: Stationary Scaffold Review Checklist Account / Contact:: Completed by: Project Name / Location: Date: CHECKLIST YES NO ACTION / COMMENTS Competent person in charge of erection and inspection? Appears capable of supporting 4 times the maximum intended load? Footings appear sound and capable of carrying the maximum load? Unstable objects prohibited as footing concrete block, bricks, boxes? Sills appear properly placed and sized? Base plates secured to sills and frame? Scaffold appears plumb, square and level? Open sides protected by guardrails, mid-rails and toe boards? Front edge of platform not more than 14 inches from work? Electrical clearances meet OSHA standards? Platform fully planked with no more than a 1 gap? Planks overlap at least 12 over supports? Using scaffold grade planks in good condition no cracks, knots, splits or damage? All scaffolding components match and are of the same type? Scaffold is properly braced with braces properly attached? Are all braces, sections and clamps secured and pinned? Tied into building every 26 in height and 30 in length? Safe access available to working platforms? Access does not require climbing over rails? Platforms free of debris, mud good housekeeping? Scaffold free of makeshift devices or ladders to increase height? Is X bracing installed where required? Are employees working around the scaffold wearing hardhats? Other

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