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Maintaining scaffolding safety on worksites

Scaffolding, an integral part of New York construction sites, requires engineers and designers trained in the development, assembly and use of these temporary structures for maintaining safety standards. If your worksite uses the wrong scaffolding system for the job, the potential for injuries increase.

According to OSHA, scaffold standards include provisions for fall protection systems, platforms, guardrail height, midrails, crossbracing, footings and various types of ties and braces.

Appropriate types of scaffolding

Depending on the project, you may work on various types of scaffolding on a single worksite. In urban settings, suspended structures are common. Instead of resting on braces in the ground, wire ropes or chains from the roof raise and lower the platform as needed. Cantilever scaffolding uses a series of needles as support. Holes in the wall or struts through the floor openings allow for the removal of the needles. Using single, double or patented scaffolding on sites that should have suspended units can become dangerous for you and your construction crew.

Qualified scaffolding personnel

Each scaffold must support its own weight, as well as at least four times the maximum intended load. The scaffolding system must also meet the requirements for maximum deflection, type of planking and guardrails. As a result, a competent person must perform various duties, depending on the safety requirements. In general, one or more individuals must train, select and direct employees who erect, move, alter and dismantle the structures. These individuals may also determine if work can continue during high winds or storms.

Selecting the right scaffold type, inspecting components for safety and ensuring integration of fall protection and access is critical. Structures improperly placed or chosen for the job can result in hazardous conditions, whether you work on the scaffold or the ground near it. Learn more about New York scaffold laws here.

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