OSH Answers Fact Sheets
Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >
What should you check before using scaffold?
Install, inspect, maintain and repair scaffolding in accordance with standards, regulations, and manufacturer's instructions.
Check the following before using scaffolding and inspect on an adequate basis:
- base is sound, level and adjusted,
- legs are plumb and all braces are in place,
- locking devices and ties are secured,
- cross members are level,
- planks, decks and guardrails are installed and secure,
- keep a log of inspections and related items or repairs.
What should you do when using scaffold?
- Use an access ladder, not the scaffold frame, unless it is specially designed to be climbed. Build a staircase if the scaffold will be used for a length of time.
- Build a rest platform for every 10 m (30 ft) in height beside the ladder.
- Remove snow and ice from scaffold platforms, ladders and access areas.
- Ensure that scaffold is securely attached to the building structure.
- Effects from winds increase when scaffolds are covered (hoarded).
- Adequate ventilation for the work activity inside must be supplied if the scaffold is completely hoarded.
- Protect all planked or working levels with proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards along all open sides and at the ends of scaffold platforms.
- Replace any guardrails that were removed while hoisting materials. Wear fall protection until guardrails are reinstalled.
What should you not do when using scaffold?
- Do not load in excess of its rated working load.
- Do not jump on planks or platforms.
- Do not force braces to fit. Level the scaffold until a proper fit can be made easily.
- Do not climb or stand on cross braces or guardrails.
- Do not work on scaffolds during storms or high winds.
- Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase height.
- Do not overload scaffold frames or platforms.
- Do not load in a way that affects its stability.
- Do not rest materials or equipment on guardrails.
- Do not try to repair bent or kinked frames. Throw them out.
- Do not work below a scaffold without head protection.
- Do not use scaffolds near electrical wires.
Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.