The Importance of Scaffolding Training Before Taking A Scaffolding Job

March 15, 2016


While not wishing to sound overly dramatic, work sites do contain many hazards, risk areas and dangerous work practices that endanger employee safety. A scaffolding job magnifies the already sober nature of the job by raising these existing risk factors (both literally and metaphorically) to new heights. Site managers and staff foremen minimize these dangers by incorporating a powerful safety margin into the frame, which goes a long way towards ensuring the structure is stable and outfitted with all safety aids as determined by OSHA and other administrative agencies. Next on the agenda, scaffolding training familiarizes the worker with the inherent risks that come with at-height work. The course equips each employee with the necessary skills and awareness to work safely on this specialized work frame without incurring workplace accidents.

Most people have a fair-to-middling aptitude for multitasking, but a scaffolding job simply can't make assumptions when life and limb is at risk. The workperson has to be made aware of the fact that respect must be paid to the situation, to the notion that this is a potentially dangerous environment. Also, this danger goes both ways, in that the worker sitting on the platform is in danger of falling, but so are tools and building materials, heavy items that have been carelessly dislodged to fall and harm workers on the ground. As such, handrails and toe guards are fitted to the scaffolding, which satisfies the safety side of things for the erection work, but this step doesn't account for that momentary lapse of concentration, a lapse caused by a ringing mobile phone or a poorly arranged workspace. Scaffolding training makes at-height labourers aware of these pitfalls and employs a competency-based approach to minimize human error.

Armed with awareness of the situation (And hard hats), scaffolding training is conducted by a qualified person (OSHA1926.454(a)). Please note, this link holds greater relevancy when viewed by Northern American audiences. For Australian work practices, refer to Safe Work Australia (, a guide that mandates worker training when the tower involves work at a height of 4-Metres or more. Also, without the inclusion of a high-risk work Licence, the work conducted by the trained employee should always be reserved for the construction project, meaning the person in question should not make adjustments to the scaffolding. In short, the scaffolding job entails work on the construction job and not on the temporary framework of the scaffolding. This specialized task is best left to a qualified scaffolding company.

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