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Scaffolds

Scaffolds

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is a scaffold?

A scaffold is defined as any temporary elevated platform (supported or suspended) and its supporting structure (including points of anchorage), used for supporting employees or materials or both.

What are the hazards associated with scaffolds?

The major hazard associated with the use of any scaffold is serious injury or death due to falling from an elevated level as a result of absent or incomplete fall protection, improper placement of the scaffold or lack of training in the proper use of the type of scaffold involved.

Solutions

Solutions

What can I do to protect myself?

Never get onto a scaffold unless it has been inspected by a competent person to ensure that it has been properly assembled and is acceptable for the purpose for which it is to be used. Never use a scaffold at work unless you have been trained in its proper use.

When mast climbing work platforms are used, they must be erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In particular, the free standing height of the mast and the magnitude of the loads placed on the platform cannot exceed what is permitted by the manufacturer. In addition, the manufacturer must be consulted for the proper load chart when using a non-standard configuration. For more information, reference the following report, Investigation of the March 23, 2015 Mast Climbing Scaffold Collapse during Dismantling at Raleigh, NC.

What resources are available to assist employers?

  • The scaffolds presentation can be used to assist employers in conducting training for their employees. The presentation should be customized to address the types of scaffolds to be used, as well as the workplace conditions in which they will be used.

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request.

Regulations

Regulations

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for scaffolds in North Carolina:

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.