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Tips on Scaffold Safety

The following safety tips are offered by the engineering department of Bil-Jax, Inc. as guidelines in avoiding job-site situations that could prove dangerous to scaffold workmen.

Check Safety Codes

  • OSHA, state, and local safety codes should be consulted and approval obtained from Building Safety and Industrial Commission on scaffold tips.

Inspect and Check

  • Take no chances. Inspect the scaffold setup after erection and daily while in use. Don't remove or allow removal of any parts without the OK from the proper authorities. When wire rope is used, inspect it on each job.

Begin With Good Footing

  • Use base plates, sills, or footers (or a combination) on solid ground; make sure the scaffold is leveled or plumbed.

Reject Damaged Parts

  • Bent or otherwise damaged end frames or braces should not be used. Put them aside for replacement. For repair, call Bil-Jax, Inc.

Don't Short-Change Bracing

  • Use bracing at all points provided; add extra braces if needed to ensure stability.

Tie Scaffold To the Building

  • Scaffolding should be tied to the structure using heavy wire or tie-in devices. The first vertical tie should be at the maximum height of 4 times the narrowest base dimension. Additional ties are not to exceed 26 feet vertically. Maximum horizontal distance between ties is not to exceed 30 feet.

Don't Overload Scaffolding

  • Follow the safe load capacities as given by the scaffold manufacturer. There's a limit even to what steel can support. A 4-to-1 safety factor must be figured on scaffolding.

Use Metal Catwalks & Platforms Where Available

  • If wood plank is used, it must be scaffold grade or better. Inspect thoroughly before every job to make sure it is free from breaks, knots, cracks, or warpage. Decking should be full width.

Don't Ride Moving Scaffold

  • Remember, scaffold units are limited in height to 4* times their narrowest base dimension (unless base is widened by outriggers, or more end frames; or tied into building). Always keep casters locked (except to re-spot).
    • * Exceptions: 3 times in CA, OH, OR, MT, ME.

Don't Climb Braces

  • Use the steps provided on most steel scaffolds to climb up to or down from work levels. Use scaffold climbing ladders where required.

Protect Working Levels

  • Use overhead canopies to protect workers on lower work levels when work is being done overhead. Rope off unsafe areas underneath scaffold or provide wire mesh around the work area.

Use Double Guard Rails

  • and toeboards on exposed sides at platform heights of 6 feet or more.

By implementing these Bil-Jax safety tips and following recommended guidelines, you can create a safe working environment when using scaffolding and prevent potential accidents and injuries.