Scaffolds And Aerial Work Platforms

Your employees may be required to perform work in areas that cannot be accessed from the ground or from solid construction. In these cases the use of a scaffold or an aerial work platform may be required.

Scaffolds:

  • When using a scaffold, a competent person is needed to oversee erecting, securing, and dismantling of scaffolds. The competent person also inspects all scaffolds for visible defects before each work shift and after any occurrence that may affect the scaffold’s structural integrity.
  • Capacity – Scaffolds and scaffold components must be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.
  • Footing – The footing or anchorage for scaffolds must be sound, rigid, and capable of supporting the scaffold and its maximum intended load without surface settling or displacement. Unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick, or concrete blocks must not be used to support scaffolds or planks.
  • Planking – All planking, if applicable, must be overlapped a minimum of 12 inches or secured from movement by nails or bolts, unless the scaffold is prefabricated and interlocking.
  • Fall Protection – Fall protection is required for any scaffold greater than 10 feet in height. Guardrails, midrails, and personal fall arrest system, when applicable, must be in place to the scaffold being used by employees.
  • Electrical Safety – 10 foot distance rules must be taken into consideration when working near overhead power-lines or any high voltage electrical equipment.
  • Weather Stoppages – Work on scaffolds is not allowed during high winds.
  • All employees who erect, work on, or dismantle scaffolds must attend scaffold safety training.

The Safety Links scaffold (link to http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/construction-safety-courses/scaffolding) training covers the proper use, inspection of, and hazards related to erecting, working on, and dismantling scaffolds.

Aerial Lifts

Aerial lifts include vehicle-mounted aerial devices, extendible boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating booms, vertical towers, etc. When working on an elevated platform, several factors must be considered:

  • Fall protection – With exception of scissor lifts all occupants must wear a body harness attached to the basket.
  • Moving the lift – The lift must not be moved when the boom is elevated in a working position unless the lift is specifically designed to do so.
  • Lift controls – Lift controls must be tested daily prior to operating the boom.
  • Boom and basket loads – The manufacturer’s boom and basket maximum intended loads must not be exceeded.
  • Outriggers and brakes – Outriggers must be positioned on pads or solid ground if equipped. Brakes must be set anytime outriggers are used.
  • Barricades & signs – The area beneath an operating aerial lifts must be cordoned off and access to that area must be restricted. Restricting access may be accomplished through the use of barricades and signs.
  • Training- All employees who work on aerial platforms must attend an aerial lift operator training course. The Safety Links aerial lift operation training (Link to http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/equipment-operation/aerial-lift) covers the proper use, inspection of, and hazards associated with aerial lifts.

If you want more information on scaffold or aerial lift operator contact Randy Free. 407-353-8165 or email him at rfree[at]safetylinks.net

1 Comment

  • Patrick McDermott, CSP

    Reply Reply January 24, 2013

    With respect to scissors lifts (Self-propelled scaffolds), manufacturers may require use of fall protection. This requirement appears in the operators manuals. Other manufacturers, such as the folk who manufacture Genie, have opted to “recommend” the use of fall protection.

    There are always more than the regulatory standards to consider when using any equipment. Operator’s Manuals often contain additional safety provisions which must be part of any risk reduction program. Unfortunately, trainers may not adequately cover the material, as the training transpires a few minutes before the operator has to ascend.

    At the end of the day, owners/operators will often leave the baskets of aerial lifts elevated, ostensibly to reduce to potential for vandalism, or other non-work related risks. However, the manual clearly states that the equipment is to be parked in the down position.

    The Operator’s Manual – what a novel idea.

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