Around 65% of the construction industry work on scaffolds and experience 4,500 injuries and 60 fatalities annually in the United States alone. To prevent these staggering statistics from reocurring better safety inspections, training and controls are needed.
There are three things to remember to ensure scaffolding safety:
- The scaffold must be built under the supervision of a competent person;
- Workers must be trained by a qualified person before they use the scaffold; and
scaffold and its components should be checked by a competent person and properly tagged before the start of the shift to ensure its integrity and safety.
This article covers who are competent and qualified persons, the basic Do’s and Don’ts of scaffolding safety, usage of scaffold tags, and also includes free scaffold safety checklists to help you implement safety in your workplace using
iAuditor - the world’s #1 inspection app.
Competent and Qualified Person
According to OSHA, a competent person is "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions, which are unsanitary, hazardous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."
This is typically someone who holds a scaffolding high-risk work license.
While a qualified person is one who “has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems related to the subject matter, the work, or the project." A qualified person has the right background such
as education or degree in designing safe scaffolding, for example this could be someone from the scaffold manufacturer or trained scaffold engineer.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that 72% of scaffold injuries were due to scaffold planking or support giving way, slips, or falling objects. With regular inspections performed
by a competent person, adequate scaffold safety training provided by a qualified person, and compliance with local regulatory standards, these dangers can be controlled.