A Brief Guide to Narrow Scaffolding According to OSHA Standards

March 23, 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards acknowledges narrow scaffolding as one of the most popular pieces of construction equipment. Since they can be used in a variety of purposes, they are used as an alternative for ladders since they promote balance when workers are on the platform, as well as ease of use - given the same instance. Know more about narrow scaffolding as indicated in the brief guide below.

Narrow Scaffolding Basics

Narrow scaffolding, otherwise known as Baker or Perry style scaffolds, are wheeled mobile scaffolds with the end frame measuring less than a metre in width. They are designed to be easily moved and used for operations such as painting, drywall, installation, plastering, and other jobs where workers must frequently change position. These scaffolds can be adapted to stairs, ramps, and other uneven surfaces. In some instances, scaffolds may be a better and

safer choice than ladders.

Hazards Associated with Narrow Scaffolding

Some of the hazards associated with narrow scaffolding include elevated level falls, tip-overs, electrical shocks, and structural collapses. All of which can lead to a personal injury and worst-case scenario - death.

Safety Guidelines for Narrow Scaffolding

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. All training must be conducted in a manner and language which the worker is able to understand. Only trained and authorized persons should be allowed to use a scaffold. This training must be provided by a qualified person who recognizes the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and who understands the procedures to control or minimise those hazards.

Narrow Scaffolding Training Inclusions

The training for workers who will be using narrow scaffolding must include how to safely use the scaffold and determine the maximum load limits when handling materials. They must also know how to recognize and avoid scaffolding hazards such as electric shock, falls from heights, and being hit by falling objects. Each worker must properly erect, inspect, move, operate, maintain, and repair scaffolds.

Narrow Scaffolding Employer Responsibilities

Employers must ensure to follow the manufacturer’s allowable load for the casters, scaffold components and platforms, along with recommended bracing to ensure a rigid and structurally sound scaffold. They must assess the work area, site conditions, and work to be performed.It is also their responsibility to conduct a pre-operation inspection to verify that all scaffold components are functioning properly and/or are correctly assembled.

Employers must also keep the platform free from tripping hazards such as hand tools, equipment, or materials. Aside from that, they should also lock scaffold wheels with positive wheel and/or wheel and swivel locks to prevent movement while in use. They must use guardrails which include top rails, midrails, and toe boards, or fall protection at working platform heights of 10 feet or higher. It is important that they stay at least 10 feet away from energized power lines. If outriggers are installed, they must deploy installed outriggers on both sides of the scaffold. All locking pins must be engaged before using the scaffold.

Consult C&N Scaffolding Hire Pty Ltd for your scaffolding needs for your construction project. We focus on ensuring that you receive the best service at the best price without safety being compromised.

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