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OSHA issues scaffold fact sheets

Washington – Two new fact sheets from OSHA aim to protect workers who design and erect tube and coupler scaffolds.

A tube and coupler scaffold has a platform supported by tubing. The scaffold is erected with coupling devices connecting all the uprights, braces, bearers and runners.

The first fact sheet addresses the planning and design of these scaffold systems, and provides information on the following topics:

  • Determining where scaffolds should be used and selecting the appropriate size of scaffold for the job
  • Having a qualified individual design the scaffold
  • Ensuring the scaffold is constructed with proper materials, and is able to support its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load

The erection and use fact sheet outlines processes for:

  • Using level, sound and rigid footings
  • Securely fastening all couplers or connections before assembling the next level
  • Having a competent person inspect the scaffold before each shift
  • Tagging out defective or damaged scaffolds in need of repair

Scaffolding violations were the No. 3 most frequently cited OSHA violation in fiscal year 2014, according to the agency.