Ladder Access Scaffold System: Checklist on Assembly

October 16, 2018

As practically any scaffolding regulations book can attest, staging isn't safe to climb until the access and egress components have been safely assembled and checked. Some diligent scaffolding services even go so far as to advise a double check, which is an inspection carried out by a different set of eyes. Governing those inspections, then, the inspectors and erectors lean heavily on an access/egress assembly checklist.

Component Integrity

Usually carried out during the maintenance checks back at the shop, the ladder sections are inspected for structural flaws. Are the steps or rungs of the ladder whole and undamaged? Are their mounts and fasteners in good shape? Finally, the assembly checklist should tick a traction box, for a slippery rung could easily cause a fall hazard.

Common Sense Usage Routines

A ladder access scaffold system is intended for just that, for climbing or coming down the staging. Look up or down the ladder to ensure the way is clear. These components are not designed to support multiple workers, after all. Next, only the worker, preferably equipped in high-traction work boots, is allowed access. If there are tools or building materials to take up a level, then the correct apparatus should be provided for this purpose. Always use both hands when ascending or descending the ladder.

Scaffold Access Bays

A crisscrossing series of ladder segments climbs with the tower. Ideally, a separate frame bay should be provided as an upward moving corridor. Moving from one solid floor section to the above floor hatch, the isolated bay approach enforces an already strong safety margin.

Never Use Scaffolding Ladders for Other Purposes

Sometimes a work area is just out of reach. According to work safe scaffolding practices, an employee can't stand on tiptoes, nor can he use a toolbox or a pile of bricks to boost his height. Similarly, scaffolding ladders cannot be repurposed as reach aids, not when they're specifically designed to snugly fit the scaffolding tubes.

Assigning Checklist Tags

On that tag, a list of inspected points is concisely printed in tabular form. Like anything else, human error can occur, so the checklist must always be included and completed as an aid, a system of checks and balances. On it, we check a box if the ladder doesn't snap solidly in place. The mounts are damaged or the fasteners are defective. Cracks, broken hinges or rungs, missing locks and other system crucial features, all of these potentially hazardous shortcomings receive their own checkbox.

And, at least until the matter is properly addressed, the segments are pulled from the job. They're trashed or repaired, then returned to service when an inspector gives the component a passing grade.

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