Dangers on a construction site may seem obvious at times, but scaffolding can lead to many surprising hazards.
Safety standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration outline a concise and thorough set of guidelines that help you avoid slipping, falling or suffering from a blow.
According to OSHA, you must be careful to not overload the scaffold. Placing too much weight on it, such as additional tools or multiple people, can cause it to collapse.
Sudden movements, such as running or jumping, can also make the scaffold fall down. You should always walk carefully and be aware of what weight capacity it can hold.
If you are more than 10 feet above the ground, you must have a guardrail or other safety system in place. Following all OSHA rules, such as making sure the scaffold can support up to 6 times the weight you intend to make it carry, can help prevent injuries.
Using unstable items to support the scaffold, such as bricks or other building materials, increases the chance you will fall. Never use anything but the approved materials to prop up or build your platform.
A qualified person or a competent person must always check the scaffold as you build it and before anyone else uses it. These workers usually have extensive backgrounds in erecting scaffolds, which means they can spot important safety problems that you may not see.
OSHA requires that you report any workplace hazards immediately. If you see damaged or missing components, do not hesitate to let your supervisor know.