Six Rules of Scaffolding Safety

Eastman Cooke Team

To commemorate 2018 Safety Week (May 7-11), Eastman Cooke staff have put together useful tips on how keep jobsites safe and secure.

In today’s post, we’re focusing on the importance of scaffolding safety, with valuable insights from Eastman Cooke Project Superintendent Ray Ruggiano.

“Just like in all aspects of construction, we have rules. These rules are there for reason and to be followed for the safety of the public and also for the safety of the construction workers,” Ray explains.

That’s why scaffolds are only erected by qualified, properly trained individuals, with an OSHA-trained foreman overseeing the operation as each piece goes up. Among the important factors the foreman reviews are scaffolding height requirements, anchor points, safety netting and safety rails. Crew members must carry a four-hour supported scaffolding user ID card, in conjunction with the completion of a required course for workers using supported scaffolds at New York City construction sites. The actual erecting of the scaffold, along with any repairs, must be completed by workers holding a 30-hour card, while overseen by a competent person above them.

Once a scaffold is erected, the following requirements must be met to ensure maximum safety at all times:

  1. Appoint a competent person to oversee daily inspections. All notes must be kept in a logbook in the project superintendent’s office.
  2. Perform a spot check each morning before sending your team out on the scaffold for a day’s work.
  3. Make sure the scaffolding is maintained and cleaned at all times, so nothing falls below.
  4. Always follow personalized protective equipment (PPE) rules and regulations.
  5. Regularly inspect anchor points to ensure they don’t come loose and cause a potentially dangerous accident.
  6. Be sure to also inspect OSHA planking and check that there is proper overlap between boards. If a board does not comply with OSHA standards, the competent person should remove and replace the board immediately.

“Successfully meeting these scaffolding requirements is one of the many ways in which Eastman Cooke remains committed to construction safety,” Ray says. “Our number one goal is to work safe and be safe.”

For more information on scaffolding safety, visit www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/scaffolding/gen_req.html.

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