Scaffolding safety regulations (29 CFR 1926.451) provide standards developed by OSHA to help protect workers from the dangers of working with scaffolding. The standard provides guidelines on how to use scaffolding equipment correctly and how to minimize risks associated with working on scaffolds.
The following incident report from OSHA illustrates how an alert compliance officer spotted a violation of the standard and helped prevent an accident that was waiting to happen.
Compliance Officer Helps Protect Employees from Electrical Hazard
On April 17, while driving through a Chicago suburb, a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) from OSHA’s Chicago North area office observed employees at a construction site performing stucco work while atop metal scaffolding.
The CSHO noticed that they were exposed to an electrical hazard and stopped to initiate an inspection. The CSHO discovered â€œhotâ€ 120/240 secondary power lines were within two feet of the scaffolding and asked the crewâ€™s managers to remove the employees until the lines could be de-energized by the local power company.
They agreed to voluntarily cease operation. Within four hours, the hazard was abated and the employees safely returned to work.
This particular story had a happy ending. But for the alert eye of the compliance officer, the outcome could have been different. Moral of the story—the exposure to the potentially fatal danger could have been avoided entirely with proper training in the first place.
Protect your employees from the hazards of working on scaffoldings
- Grab a copy of OSHA’s Supported Scaffold QuickCardÂ® (English | Spanish)
- Provide training with industry recognized scaffolding training videos and manuals.
- A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry – OSHA