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October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Scaffolding-Part 2

Self-Inspection Checklist

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Guidelines

This checklist covers regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under subpart L of the construction standards 29 CFR 1926.451, 1926.452, and 1926.454. It applies to erecting temporary scaffolding at worksites associated with construction, alteration, demolition, or repair work, including painting and decorating. It covers fall protection, falling object protection, pole scaffolds, tube and coupler scaffolds, fabricated frame scaffolds, horse scaffolds, ladder jack scaffolds, and training. This checklist does not cover additional requirements for plasterers', decorators', and large-area scaffolds; bricklayers' square scaffolds; form scaffolds and carpenters' bracket scaffolds; roof bracket scaffolds; outrigger scaffolds; pump jack scaffolds; window jack scaffolds; crawling boards (chicken ladders); step, platform, and trestle ladder scaffolds; single-point adjustable suspension scaffolds; two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds (swing stages); multi-point adjustable suspension scaffolds, stonesetters' multi-point adjustable suspension scaffolds, and masons' multi-point adjustable suspension scaffolds; catenary scaffolds; float (ship) scaffolds; interior hung scaffolds; needle beam scaffolds; multi-level suspended scaffolds; mobile scaffolds; repair bracket scaffolds; stilts; and aerial lifts. Please consult the OSHA standards 29 CFR 1926.451, 1926.452 and 1926.453 for these types of scaffolds. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA standard), or with a nonregulatory recommendation. This checklist should be used with the Scaffolding-Part 1 checklist. Subpart L of the OSHA construction standards includes appendixes that give useful information on scaffold specifications. Definitions of terms in bold type are provided at the end of the checklist.

    Fall Protection

  1. Are workers on scaffolds that are more than 10 feet above a lower level protected from falling by one of the following measures:
    1. a personal fall arrest system for workers on ladder jack scaffolds. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(i)]
    2. a guardrail system installed within 9 1/2 inches of and along at least one side of the walkway for workers on a walkway located within a scaffold. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(v)]
    3. a personal fall arrest system or guardrail system to protect workers doing overhand bricklaying from a supported scaffold from falling off open sides and ends of the scaffold (except at the side next to the wall being laid)? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(vi)]
    4. a personal fall arrest system or guardrail system for workers on all other scaffolds. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(vii)]
  2. Does a competent person determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for workers erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(2)]
  3. Do workers erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds use fall protection when it is safe and feasible? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(2)]
  4. Are personal fall arrest systems used on scaffolds attached by a lanyard to a vertical lifeline, horizontal lifeline, or scaffold structural member? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(3)]
  5. When vertical lifelines are used, are they fastened to a fixed safe point of anchorage, independent of the scaffold, and protected from sharp edges and abrasion? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(3)(i)]

    Note: Safe points of anchorage include structural members of buildings, but do not include standpipes, vents, other piping systems, electrical conduit, outrigger beams, or counterweights.

  6. When horizontal lifelines are used, are they secured to two or more structural members of the scaffold? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(3)(ii)]
  7. Is it prohibited to attach vertical lifelines and independent support lines to one another, to the same point of anchorage, and to the same point on the scaffold or personal fall arrest system? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(3)(iv)]
  8. When guardrail systems are required, are they installed along all open sides and ends of platforms? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(i)]

    Note: Guardrails systems must be installed before the scaffold is used by workers other than erecting or dismantling crews.

  9. If the scaffolds were manufactured or placed in service after January 1, 2000, is the top edge height of toprails (or equivalent member) on supported scaffolds between 38 and 45 inches above the platform surface? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii)]

    Note: When necessary, the height of the top edge may exceed 45 inches if the guardrail meets all OSHA requirements.

  10. If scaffolds were manufactured or placed in service before January 1, 2000, is the top edge height of toprails (or equivalent member) on supported scaffolds between 36 and 45 inches above the platform surface? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii)]

    Note: When necessary, the height of the top edge may exceed 45 inches if the guardrail meets all OSHA requirements.

  11. Are midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, and solid panels (or equivalent structural members) installed between the top edge of the guardrail system and the scaffold platform? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(iii)]
  12. When midrails are used, are they installed approximately midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the platform surface? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(iv)]
  13. When screens and mesh are used, do they extend from the top edge of the guardrail system to the scaffold platform, and along the entire opening between the supports? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(v)]
  14. When intermediate members (such as balusters or additional rails) are used, are they installed 19 inches or less apart? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(vi)]
  15. Can each toprail (or equivalent member) of a guardrail system withstand (without failure) a 200-pound force applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point along its top edge? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(vii)]

    Note: Appendix A of subpart L of the OSHA regulations gives directions for constructing acceptable guardrail systems.

  16. When a 200 pound force is applied in a downward direction on the toprail (or equivalent member) of a guardrail system, does the top edge still maintain the OSHA required height (see questions 9 and 10)? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(viii)]
  17. Can midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent structural members of a guardrail system withstand (without failure) a 150-pound force applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point along the midrail or other member? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ix)]
  18. Are guardrails surfaced to prevent snagging of clothing and injury from punctures or lacerations? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xi)]
  19. I
  20. s it prohibited for rails to overhang the terminal posts, except when such overhang does not constitute a projection hazard? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xii)]
  21. Is the use of steel or plastic banding for toprails or midrails prohibited? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xiii)]
  22. If manila, plastic, or other synthetic rope is used for toprails or midrails, is it inspected by a competent person as necessary to ensure that it continues to meet the OSHA strength requirements? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xiv)]
  23. If crossbracing is used to replace a midrail, is the crossing point of the two braces between 20 and 30 inches above the work platform? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xv)]
  24. If crossbracing is used to replace a toprail, is the crossing point of the two braces between 38 and 48 inches above the work platform? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xv)]
  25. If crossbracing is used to replace a midrail or toprail, are the end points at each upright 48 inches apart or less? [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xv)]
  26.  

    Falling Object Protection

  27. Do workers on scaffolds wear hardhats? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)]
  28. Are workers protected from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects by toeboards, screens, guardrail systems, debris nets, catch platforms, or canopy structures that contain or deflect the falling objects? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)]
  29. If objects are too large, heavy, or massive to be contained or deflected, are they moved away from the edge of the surface from which they could fall and secured? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)]
  30. If tools, materials, or equipment could fall from a scaffold and strike workers, are one of the following protective measures used? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2)]
    1. The area below the scaffold to which objects can fall is barricaded, and workers are not permitted to enter the hazard area.
    2. A toeboard is erected along the edge of platforms more than 10 feet above lower levels for a distance sufficient to protect workers below.
  31. If tools, materials, or equipment are piled higher than the top edge of the toeboard, are one of the following protective measures used? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2)]
    1. Paneling or screening extending from the toeboard or platform to the top of the guardrail is erected for a distance sufficient to protect the workers below.
    2. A guardrail system is installed with openings small enough to prevent passage of falling objects.
    3. A canopy structure, debris net, or catch platform strong enough to withstand the impact forces of the falling objects is erected over the workers.
  32. If canopies are used to protect workers, are they installed between the falling object hazard and the workers? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(3)(i)]
  33. If toeboards are used to protect workers, can they withstand (without failure) a force of at least 50 pounds applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point along the toeboard? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(4)(i)]

    Note: Appendix A of Subpart L of the OSHA regulations provides directions for constructing acceptable toeboards.

  34. If toeboards are used to protect workers, are they at least 3-1/2 inches high from the top edge of the toeboard to the level of the walking/working surface? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(4)(ii)]
  35. If toeboards are used to protect workers, are they securely fastened in place at the outermost edge of the platform? Do they have 1/4-inch or less clearance above the walking or working surface? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(4)(ii)]
  36. If toeboards are used to protect workers, are they solid or with openings of 1inch or less in the greatest dimension? [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(4)(ii)]
  37.  

    Pole Scaffolds

  38. When platforms are moved to the next level, are existing platforms left undisturbed until the new bearers have been set in place and braced? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(1)]
  39. Is crossbracing installed between the inner and outer set of poles on double pole scaffolds? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(2)]
  40. Is diagonal bracing that is installed in both directions across the entire inside face of double-pole scaffolds used to support loads equivalent to a uniformly distributed load of 50 pounds or more per square foot? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(3)]
  41. Is diagonal bracing installed in both directions across the entire outside face of all double- and single-pole scaffolds? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(4)]
  42. Are runners and bearers installed on edge? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(5)]
  43. Do bearers extend at least 3 inches over the outside edges of the runners? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(6)]
  44. Do runners extend at least over two poles? Are they supported by bearing blocks that are securely attached to the poles? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(7)]
  45. Is it prohibited to splice braces, bearers, and runners between poles? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(8)]
  46. If wooden poles are spliced, are they square? Does the upper section rest squarely on the lower section? [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(9)]

    Note: Wood splice plates must be on at least two adjacent sides, and must extend at least 2 feet on either side of the splice, overlap the abutted ends equally, and have at least the same cross-sectional areas as the pole. Splice plates of other materials of equivalent strength may be used.

  47. Tube and Coupler Scaffolds

  48. When platforms are moved to the next level, are existing platforms left undisturbed until the new bearers have been set in place and braced? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(1)]
  49. Are transverse braces that form an "X" across the width of the scaffold installed at the scaffold ends and at least at every 3rd set of posts horizontally (measured form one end) and every 4th runner vertically? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(2)]
  50. Dose bracing extend diagonally from the inner or outer posts or runners upward to the next outer or inner posts or runners? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(2)]
  51. Are building ties installed at the bearer levels between the transverse bracing? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(2)]
  52. On straight run scaffolds, is longitudinal bracing across the inner and outer rows of posts installed diagonally in both directions? Does bracing extend from the base of the end posts upward to the top of the scaffold at approximately a 45ยบ angle? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(3)]

    Note: On scaffolds whose length is greater than their height, such bracing must be repeated beginning at least at every 5th post. On scaffolds whose length is less than their height, such bracing must be installed from the base of the end posts upward to the opposite end posts, and then in alternating directions until reaching the top of the scaffold. Bracing must be installed as close as possible to the intersection of the bearer and post or runner and post.

  53. If bracing cannot be attached to posts, is it attached to the runners as close to the post as possible? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(4)]
  54. Are bearers installed transversely between posts? When coupled to the posts, does the inboard coupler bear directly on the runner coupler? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(5)]

    Note: When the bearers are coupled to the runners, the couplers must be as close to the posts as possible.

  55. Do bearers extend beyond the posts and runners, and provide full contact with the coupler? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(6)]
  56. Are runners installed along the length of the scaffold, on both the inside and outside posts at level heights? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(7)]

    Note: When tube and coupler guardrails and midrails are used on outside posts, they may be used in place of outside runners.

  57. Are runners interlocked on straight runs to form continuous lengths, and coupled to each post? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(8)]

    Note: Install bottom runners and bearers as close to the base as possible.

  58. Are couplers made of structural metal, such as drop-forged steel, malleable iron, or structural grade aluminum? [29 CFR 1926.452(b)(9)]

    Note: The use of gray case iron is prohibited.

  59. Fabricated Frame Scaffolds

  60. When moving platforms to the next level, are existing platforms left undisturbed until the new end frames have been set in place and braced? [29 CFR 1926.452(c)(1)]
  61. Are frames and panels braced by cross, horizontal, or diagonal braces (or combinations thereof), to secure vertical members together laterally? [29 CFR 1926.452(c)(2)]

    Note: The cross braces shall be long enough to automatically square and align vertical members so that the erected scaffold is plumb, level, and square. All brace connections must be secured.

  62. Are frames and panels joined together vertically by coupling or stacking pins or equivalent means? [29 CFR 1926.452(c)(3)]
  63. Are frames and panels locked together vertically by pins or equivalent means at points where uplift could displace scaffold end frames or panels? [29 CFR 1926.452(c)(4)]
  64.  

    Bricklayers' Square Scaffolds

  65. Are wood scaffolds reinforced with gussets on both sides of each corner? [29 CFR 1926.452(e)(1)]
  66. Are diagonal braces installed on all sides of each square? [29 CFR 1926.452(e)(2)]
  67. Are diagonal braces installed between squares on the rear and front sides of the scaffold, and do they extend from the bottom of each square to the top of the next square? [29 CFR 1926.452(e)(3)]
  68. Are scaffolds three tiers or less in height? Are they constructed so that one square rests directly above the other? [29 CFR 1926.452(e)(4)]

    Note: The upper tiers shall stand on a continuous row of planks laid across the next lower tier, and shall be nailed down or otherwise secured to prevent displacement.

  69. Horse Scaffolds

  70. Are scaffolds less than 10 high? Are they two tiers high or less? [29 CFR 1926.452(f)(1)]
  71. When horses are arranged in tiers, is each horse place directly over the horse in the tier below? [29 CFR 1926.452(f)(2)]
  72. When horses are arranged in tiers, are the legs of each horse nailed down or otherwise secured to prevent displacement? [29 CFR 1926.452(f)(3)]
  73. When horses are arranged in tiers, is each tier crossbraced? [29 CFR 1926.452(f)(4)]
  74.  

    Ladder Jack Scaffolds

  75. Are all ladder jack scaffolds 20 feet or less above the ground? [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(1)]
  76. Are ladders that are used to support ladder jack scaffolds in compliance with OSHA regulations (see subpart X of this part)? - Stairways and Ladders. [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(2)]
  77. Are ladder jacks designed and constructed so that they will bear on the side rails in addition to the ladder rungs? [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(3)]

    Note: If bearing on rungs only, the bearing area shall be at least 10 inches on each rung.

  78. Are ladders that are used to support ladder jacks placed, fastened, or equipped with devices to prevent slipping? [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(4)]
  79. Is it prohibited to bridge scaffold platforms one to another? [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(5)]
  80.  

    Training Requirements

  81. Are workers trained to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards? [29 CFR 1926.454(a)]

    Note: Consult the OSHA regulations for the specific training areas that must be covered.

  82. Are trainers qualified in the subject matter? [29 CFR 1926.454(a)]
  83. Are workers who erect, disassemble, move, operate, repair, maintain, or inspect a scaffold trained to recognize hazards associated with the work? [29 CFR 1926.454(b)]

    Note: Consult the OSHA regulations for the specific training areas that must be covered.

  84. Are trainers who train the workers mentioned in question 74 competent? [29 CFR 1926.454(b)]
  85. Are workers retrained when they show a lack of skills or understanding needed for safe work involving erecting, using or dismantling scaffolds? [29 CFR 1926.454(c)]

Definitions

Bearer (putlog): a horizontal transverse scaffold member supported by ledgers or runners. The scaffold platform rests on the bearer, and the bearer joins scaffold uprights, posts, poles, and similar members.

Brace: a rigid connection that holds one scaffold member in a fixed position with respect to another member, or to a building or structure.

Competent person: one who can identify hazards in the work area or conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous, and who has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Coupler: a device for locking together the tubes of a tube and coupler scaffold.

Gusset: a metal plate used for connections.

Personal fall arrest system: a system used to stop an employee's fall. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body belt or body harness, and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or combinations of these.

Lifeline: a component consisting of a flexible line that connects to an anchorage at one end to hang vertically (vertical lifeline), or that connects to anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally (horizontal lifeline). The lifeline serves connects other components of a personal fall arrest system to the anchorage.

Qualified: a person who, by a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing; or by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated an ability to solve problems related to a subject matter, work, or project.

Runner (ledger or ribbon): the lengthwise horizontal spacing or bracing member that support the bearers.

Supported scaffold: one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, legs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support.

 

 
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