Preventing Falls From Scaffolding

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

This toolbox talk was created by NIOSH and CPWR and covers the prevention of falls from scaffolding. The design allows workers to view a graphic while the facilitator presents the information. After the talk, the sheet can be posted on the jobsite with the graphic side out to reinforce the key points.
2013

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoWhen scaffolds are not upright or used properly, falls can occur. Protecting workers from scaffoldrelated accidents would prevent many deaths and more than 4,000 injuries each year.

 

Here is an Example

Willie, a construction worker, fell 20 feet from an unsecured scaffold. He had been helping to install metal frames on the outer wall of a residential building when the accident happened. The leaning scaffold was not tied off and had been moving away from the building while Willie was working. He fell to the ground, hitting his head on the second story, and died.

  1. Why did this tragedy happen? How could it have been prevented?
  2. Have you ever had an injury due to falling from scaffolding, or have you heard of anyone who has fallen from scaffolding?
  3. If so, what happened?

Preventing Falls from Scaffolding

  • Provide an access ladder.
  • Only use scaffold-grade lumber.
  • Install guardrails and toeboards on all scaffolding 10 or more feet above the ground.
  • Make sure the scaffold is able to support four times the maximum intended load (including the weight of the scaffold).
  • Make sure the scaffold is level by using screw jacks on base plates and mudsills.
  • Keep scaffold within 14 inches of the building.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries from scaffolding?

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OSHA REGULATIONS: 1926.451

Graphic of a worker standing on scaffolding while applying mortar to the side of a building.  The graphic illustrates the access ladder, guardrails, the toeboard and screw jacks.

  • Provide an access ladder.
  • Install guardrails and toeboards on all scaffolding 10 or more feet above the ground.
  • Make sure the scaffold is level by using screw jacks on base plates and mudsills.