Toolbox Talk: Preventing Falls From Scaffolding

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Preventing Falls from Scaffolding addresses the risks associated with scaffolds not secured or used properly. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)

https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

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?

1.____________________________________________________________

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2.____________________________________________________________

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3.____________________________________________________________

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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.