The new standards of scaffolding
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new standards of scaffolding on August 30, 1996. The new standard is called “Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry,” which is found in 29 CFR 1926, Subpart L. The main focus of the new standards of scaffolding is the employees’ protection from scaffold-related hazards bordering on structural instability, falls, falling objects, overloading, and electrocution.
The new standards of scaffolding require employers to protect their employees when working at height on a scaffold. Enforcing these standards will help prevent about 4,455 injuries and 47 deaths every year, as it is estimated that no fewer than 2.3 million construction workers use Scaffolds regularly. Below are the new standards of scaffolding:
- Employers should provide fall protection for employees working at a 10-foot height above a lower level. This is to ensure that employees are safe and protected from falling from the platform. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)]
- The toprail’s height for scaffolds manufactured and placed in service after January 1, 2000, is now regulated to be 38-45 inches (0.97-1.2m) instead of the previous 36-45 inches (0.9-1.2m) [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii)]. The installation of midrails must be at halfway between the platform surface and toprail [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(iv)]. If the crossbracing’s crosspoint is used as a toprail, it must be 38-48 inches (0.97-1.3m) above the work platform [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xv)].
- A trained, qualified, and competent person must assess and determine the possibility of creating a safe means of access and fall protection when assembling and dismantling scaffolding [29 CFR 1926.451(e)(9) and 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(2)].
- Every employee must be trained on a scaffold on how to prevent, control, and minimize hazards by their employer [29 CFR 1926.454].
- The structural integrity of the scaffolding must be assessed by inspecting scaffolding components for visible damages before each work shift and after any incidence that may affect them by a competent person [29 CFR 1926.451(f)(3)].
- If overhand bricklaying will be done on the platform, a personal fall arrest system or a guardrail on all sides (except the side where the overhand bricklaying is being done) must be installed to protect employees [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(vi)].
The above are the essential new standards of scaffolding that employers and employees must know and abide by to guarantee safety when working at height. Meanwhile, you can contact HodChutes for the best quality scaffolding equipment for your company.