Here at WMCI, one of our main goals is to build a brighter future in our West Michigan community by attracting a diverse workforce and empowering them with the skills, confidence,
Scaffolding is one of the most common types of equipment you’ll find in commercial construction. But it’s not as simple as hopping on a scaffold and working on your project.
Not only is there a world of knowledge on the material and types of scaffolds themselves, working on them requires planning, calculating, following procedures, and avoiding hazards. Read on for the lowdown on scaffolds, safety basics, and how you can prepare.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), about 65% of the construction industry engages in frequent work with scaffolds. Scaffolding accidents result in 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths per year in the U.S. With scaffolds being so commonplace in construction, it’s no wonder that scaffold safety training requirements are absolutely necessary. From erecting to dismantling, it’s crucial that all individuals involved should be highly trained in the most up to date safety practices.
First, what exactly is Construction Scaffolding?
Scaffolding refers to a platform that supports individuals and construction materials while work is being carried out on a particular structure. While there are many types of scaffolds (single, double, suspended, and trestle, to name a few), they are largely classified into these 3 categories:
User Training - for any employee who works on a scaffold - meets OSHA regulation 29CFR1935.454a "The employer shall have each employee who performs work while on a scaffold trained by a person qualified in the subject matter to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards."
Competent Person Training - for all employees responsible for the operation of scaffolds - meets OSHA regulation 29CFR1935.454b. "The Employer shall have each employee who is involved in the erecting , disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting a scaffold trained by a competent person to recognize and hazards associated with the work in question"
In short, the student successfully completing the user training, meets OSHA standards for training to use/work from the scaffold only. The student who successfully completes the Competent Person Training meets the requirements to erect, dismantle, modify, moving and inspect the scaffold.
Note: there is a third standard OSHA recommends that is focused on retraining if “an employer believes the employee lacks the necessary skill, understanding, or proficiency to work safely.” 1926.454(c)
from a qualified individual, which includes discussions of various hazards (electrocution, falling, etc.).
the scaffold is inspected by a competent individual before working on one.
and work boots when working on or under scaffolds.
of your surroundings, including the people around you.
inspection tags, and the scaffold’s weight capacity.
and lanyards when working above 10ft in height
scaffolds without a competent person’s supervision.
on the scaffold as it can be a hazard for your coworkers.
If you’re having trouble reaching an area
any part of the scaffold seems damaged, missing, or otherwise not up to par. Ensure that you consult a Competent Person.
with tools in your hand or on the frame of the scaffold.
There’s a lot more to construction scaffolding than meets the eye. When your work requires frequent scaffold use and there’s so many dangers involved, it’s essential to have the right training. Luckily, WMCI offers Scaffold Training: Competent Person and Scaffold User Training courses that will help you meet OSHA scaffold safety training requirements. After the course, you’ll be just one open-book exam away from earning both OSHA Scaffold User and Builder certificates.