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Scaffolds are used every day- in construction, providing a place to work from, and used in con-junction with other scaffolds, they become support structures or platforms to store material.
OSHA investigated 214 fatalities related to falls from scaffolds from 1985 to 1989. That's 5 years with an average of more than 40 deaths per year! In addition, falls from scaffolds cause injuries ranging from severe sprains or strains to broken bones. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if every person using a scaffold followed some basic guidelines.
*Follow all local codes, ordinances and regulations pertaining to scaffolding.
*Be sure you inspect all equipment before use and daily thereafter. Check for cracks or bent parts, connectors, bracing, guard rails, access ladders , and especially footings. NEVER use any equipment that has been damaged. Be sure the scaffold is not overloaded.
*NEVER ride a rolling scaffold and be sure to lock or block the wheels after moving it.
* The working platform height of a rolling scaffold must not exceed 4 times the minimum base dimension.
*Keep platforms and the area around the scaffold free of debris and unnecessary material or other hazards that could cause you to trip or fall.
*Be sure to plank all work areas and only use lumber that is graded as scaffold plank.
*Never allow unsupported ends of planks to extend an unsafe distance beyond supports, and be sure all planks are secured so they cannot be dislodged.
*Fasten all braces securely and do not mismatch side braces.
*Provide overhead protection if there is a hazard above the work area.
*Don't use scaffolds near power lines.
*Check access. If your scaffold is not equipped with a built-in ladder be sure to have a safe means to ascend and descend.
PLAY IT SAFE! DON'T TAKE CHANCES ON SCAFFOLDING! WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK YOUR SUPERVISOR.
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