four people painting wall on scaffolding

OHSA and Scaffolding – Ensuring Compliance in Scaffolding

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established specific rules and regulations regarding scaffolding to ensure the safety of workers. We’ve summarized ten OSHA rules for scaffolding companies to keep in mind:

  1. Scaffolds must be designed by a competent person and erected, dismantled, and maintained under the supervision of a competent person.
  2. Scaffolding must be capable of supporting its own weight and four times the maximum intended load.
  3. All scaffolds and scaffold components must be inspected for visible defects before each work shift and after any event that could affect their structural integrity. Learn how Stilt can help automate this!
  4. Scaffolds must be erected on solid footing and be level and plumb.
  5. Scaffolds must be equipped with guardrails, midrails, and toeboards.
  6. Scaffold platforms must be fully planked or decked.
  7. Scaffolding must be equipped with safe access, such as stairways or ladders.
  8. Scaffolds must be located at least 10 feet from electric power lines unless appropriate measures are taken to prevent contact.
  9. Personal fall arrest systems, guardrails, or a combination of both must be used when working on scaffolds more than 10 feet above a lower level.
  10. Employers must provide training to each employee who works on a scaffold, and the training must include the recognition of electrical hazards, fall hazards, and falling object hazards, and the procedures to control or minimize those hazards.

More information can be found on the following OSHA websites:

At Stilt, we’ve helped many industrial facilities and scaffolding contractors improve the safety of their scaffolding process by incorporating prompts within the Stilt app as scaffold work is being requested and completed.

In one example, a customer had a near-miss where a scaffold was built without the necessary fall arrest systems. The scaffold was built so that mechanics could replace a spool of pipe in an overhead rack. The scaffold builder didn’t know that the pipe was going to be removed and didn’t know that the scaffold needed a fall arrest system. When the mechanics went to do the job, they removed the pipe and realized it left an open hole and a fall hazard. Had they seen the fall arrest system, it’s more likely that they would have identified the hazard before it was created and tied off prior to removing the pipe. After that near-miss, the facility asked for a prompt to be added to the Stilt app asking if a fall arrest system would be needed. This simple prompt ensures better communication of safety-related info and lowers the risk that critical information is not going to be lost within some notes or forgotten from a phone call several weeks prior.

Have you had safety issues with your scaffolding? Contact us to see if Stilt can help reduce the risk at your facility. Get a demo of our product below!

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