Understanding scaffold safety requirements

Work-related fatalities and catastrophic injury rates are higher on construction sites than in any other industry, nationwide. Georgia companies have a duty to take steps that prevent worker injuries. However, even when they proactively provide you with fall protection and PPE, accidents on-site still occur. 

OSHA reports that nearly 20% of all private industry fatalities in 2019 were in construction. Falls are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths, and scaffolds are the third leading cause of falls on a construction site. Understanding safety requirements is critical for minimizing accidents. 

Competent and qualified personnel

Regulations require that a competent person familiar with scaffolds is on-site. He handles training and directs workers who construct, move and disassemble scaffolds on your worksite. This person must also do the following: 

  • Inspect the condition of the components at the end of each shift 
  • Establish the system is safe after any event that may have affected its structural integrity. 
  • Identify and report unsafe conditions 
  • Have the authority to stop work and correct any issues 

A qualified person has specific knowledge and qualifications within the industry. He can design the appropriate scaffold and rigging needed for the particular requirements of your project. 

Supported and suspended scaffolds

Supported scaffolds must meet specific minimum load requirements based on the job. They include the deck/platform specifications, guardrails and planks. The ropes on suspended scaffolds must have the capability to support six times the intended load, while counterweights must resist at least four times the tipping moment. Proper training on hazard recognition and appropriate safety equipment use can minimize your risk when working on and around scaffolds. 

Learn more about your injured worker options here. 

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