An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and over 60 deaths every year (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2003 and 2004 data for the private sector), at a savings for American employers of $90 million in workdays not lost. In a recent BLS study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these accidents can be controlled by compliance with OSHA standards.
Construction. OSHA Alliance Program. This is one of OSHA's Strategic Management Plan Focus Areas.
Construction. OSHA. A Spanish version is also available. Construction can be a safe occupation when workers are aware of the hazards, and an effective Safety and Health Program is used. This eTool contains information that helps workers identify and control the hazards that cause the most serious construction-related injuries.
Scaffolding. OSHA. Provides illustrated safety checklists for specific types of scaffolds. Hazards are identified, as well as the controls that keep these hazards from becoming tragedies.
Scaffolding hazards are addressed in specific standards for the construction industry.
Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these states adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some states have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.
This section highlights OSHA standards, preambles to final rules (background to final rules), Federal Registers (rules, proposed rules, and notices), directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to scaffolding.
Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry. Final Rules 61:46025-46075, (1996, August 30 ). Reports that although specific accident ratios cannot be projected for the estimated 3.6 million construction workers currently covered by subpart L, estimates that of the 510,500 injuries and illnesses that occur in the construction industry annually, 9,750 are related to scaffolds.
A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry (PDF). OSHA Publication 3150, (Revised 2002). Aims to protect workers using scaffolding in construction work. Scaffolding hazards continue to rank high on the list of the most frequently cited standards in the construction industry.
Construction - Pocket Guide (PDF). OSHA Publication 3252, (2005). Provides hazards and solutions for the top 10 of the most frequently cited standards in construction and lists scaffolding as the most frequently cited standard.
Scaffolding. OSHA. Provides training and reference materials.
Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) Tip Sheets. OSHA and Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) Alliance. SAIA developed tip sheets for AWPs which provide employees in the construction industry with information for a worksite inspection, a checklist for equipment inspection, the preparation for transport, required fall protection, and rescue plans. The tip sheets contains practical precautions and instruction to help workers reduce risks at job sites:
Rolling Towers/Mobile Scaffold: Inspection, Maintenance, and Use Tip Sheet (PDF*). OSHA and Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) Alliance, (2013, August). SAIA developed a tip sheet for mobile/rolling tower scaffolding which provides employees in the construction industry with information for a worksite inspection along with a checklist for equipment inspection, maintenance and use.
All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.
**eBooks - EPUB is the most common format for e-Books. If you use a Sony Reader, a Nook, or an iPad you can download the EPUB file format. If you use a Kindle, you can download the MOBI file format.
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