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  Personnel Training and Competent Persons
Personnel Training and Competent Persons
Critical to scaffolding safety are the use of competent persons for the design, erection/dismantling, and maintenance of scaffolds, and trained workers for their use. Therefore, assessing personnel abilities should be a part of all phases of the scaffolding inspection. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to manually propelled, pump jack, ladder jack, tube and coupler, and pole scaffolds as well as the specialty scaffolds described in the Supported Scaffolds module.


Design and Erection
  • Scaffolds must be designed by a qualified person, and be constructed and loaded in accordance with that design (Figure 1). [1926.451(a)(6)]

  • Scaffolds are to be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision of a competent person qualified in such activities. [1926.451(f)(7)]

  • Scaffolds over 125 feet (38.0m) in height above their base plates shall be designed by a registered professional engineer, and shall be constructed and loaded in accordance with such design. [1926.452(c)(6)]

  • Non-mandatory examples of criteria that will enable an employer to comply with 1926.451(a) are contained in 1926 Subpart L Appendix A.
Figure 1. Scaffold that was not constructed and loaded in accordance with design.

Figure 1.
Scaffold that was not constructed and loaded in accordance with design.



Training
  • Scaffolds are to be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only by experienced and trained employees who have been selected for that work by the competent person. [1926.451(f)(7)]

  • Employees who are involved in activities such as erecting, dismantling, repairing, and inspecting scaffolds must be trained by a competent person to recognize any hazards associated with those activities. Training shall include:

    • The nature of scaffold hazards;

    • Correct procedures for erecting, disassembling, etc. the type of scaffold in question;

    • The design criteria, maximum intended load capacity, and intended use of the scaffold; and

    • Any other pertinent requirements. [1926.454(b)]
  • Employees who perform work while on a scaffold must be trained by a qualified person to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used, and to understand the procedures to control those hazards. Training shall include:

    • The nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards, and falling object hazards in the work area;

    • The correct procedures for dealing with those hazards;

    • The proper use of the scaffold, and the proper handling of materials on the scaffold;

    • The maximum intended load and the load-carrying capacity of the scaffold; and

    • Any other pertinent requirements. [1926.454(a)]
  • Employers shall retrain each employee when they have reason to believe that the employee lacks the skill or understanding to safely erect, use, or dismantle a scaffold. Such retraining is required in at least the following situations:

    • Changes at the worksite present a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained;

    • Changes in the types of scaffolds, fall protection, falling object protection, or other equipment present a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained; and

    • Inadequacies in an affected employee's work indicate that the employee has not retained the necessary proficiency. [1926.454(c)]
 
 
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