Scaffold Inspection. Please proof this new commerical property inspection article.

Scaffold Inspection.

Good topic Nick.
Since a lot of safety is involved in this topic and the picture shows a type of Commercial Staging Erection, I thought I could add a few pointers.

The employer shall have each employee who performs work while on a scaffold trained by a person qualified in the subject matter to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards.
The employer shall have each employee who is involved in erect-inspecting a scaffold trained by a competent person to recognize any hazards associated with the work in question. The training shall include nature of hazards, correct procedures and design criteria of the intended load-carrying capacity and intended use of the scaffold.

If more than one level, a qualified person should inspect the staging prior to use by employees and a green tag inspection noted as such on each level for all to see, that it is at the moment in a safe condition.
Access ladders should be provided at all levels.

The employer should avail himself of the safety and heath training programs available to all employees.

Employees should be instructed in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.

All scaffolds shall be erected under the supervision of a Qualified Person

Qualified Person =
Means one who, by possession of a recognized degrees, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.

Here are a few pictures of a staging that requires extreme safety.




Here is a great video on scaffold safey.


In my opinion, this is an area we should NOT be involved with AT ALL.

Several projects I am currently involved with have scaffolding issues. Primarily, an engineer will be shartered with the actual scaffold inspection. I caution anyone contemplating examining a scaffold to read the OSHA requirements for erecting a scaffold. It calls for competent people trained in scaffold construction. MAny OSHA requirements dovetail into the equation, which a majority of us are either not familiar with or are not trained in.

Scaffold safety involves many things, including hetting, railings, tor boards, anchoring, etc.

If one were to inspect a scaffold, it would be from a pure safety standpoint. If we think its okay, and someone gets hurt, the inspector willl likely get names in a lawsuit. If the inspector is proven to be sub-stanndard in the qualifications category, the lawsuit will allege gross negligence. Additionally, scaffold inspections are not a part of any SOP. Therefore, it will be highly unlikely that an E&O carrier will indemnify you.

One final question: Hypothetically, if a scaffold was erected, and railings were not completely installed, is it deemed safe?

No, a competent person should inspect all staging areas prior to use by personnel. Proper safety rails, toe boards, full planking, and any other areas that would pose a danger to any and all employees, need to be inspected prior to its use.
If railings are not complete or would pose a hazard to personnel, it should be red tagged Not Safe, Do not Use, until corrected.
A green tag, signed by the competent person should be placarded when safe to use by all personnel. :slight_smile:


The CORRECT answer is that it DEPENDS on if an entire scaffold structure is installed around, say, an entore buildng, yet the work was being performed in phases. In this case, and based on OSHA regulation, the partial installation would be deemed as acceptable. The caveat would likely require subsequent inspections performed by phase.

Joe, you are assuming the inspector is inspecting the scaffolding for a client. The inspector may be inspecting the scaffolding for himself, to determine if it is safe to use to inspect something else such as when doing an inspection.

Bill s h i t.

The inspector should NOT climb the scaffold until he has seen that it has passed an OSHA safety inspection by an OSHA certified inspector. The Inspector has NO business inspecting or using the scaffold.

If the Inspector climbs the scaffold, and it collapses because it was incomplete, then the Inspector likely assumes the liability if someone gets hurt as a result of his negligent actions.

NACHI has absolutely NO BUSINESS advising its inspectors to do more than request to see that the scaffold has passed an OSHA inspection.

That is what legitimate project managers, engineers, and construction management firms do.

I am afraid Joe is right Nick.
Any staging used by anyone on a project site by employees, to accomplish the work at hand, has to be inspected by either the Safety Officer of the Company and/or the Project Manager or Site Superintendent that have been trained, competent, and qualified to assure that the staging area is complete and safe for use.
Adequate provisions for safe access or exit is also part of that assembly.
This also includes a staging erected in certain areas of the work or a complete staging perimeter of the building structure.

Believe me, I have had way to many encounters with OSHA officers in the past 35+ years in Commercial Buildings. There are no exceptions.
Completely safe or it is not.
Residential Building Contractors get away with murder, only because OSHA does not police that sector of the building industry as they do on Commercial sites. :slight_smile:

Nothing wrong with understanding the concepts of safe scaffolding.

Also nothing wrong with taking the time to inspect any scaffolding for defects that you are going to personally climb. :smiley:

As long as you don’t forget that you just installed a 16’ plank on an 8’ staging. :mrgreen:

For the types of oversight inspections our members perform (new addition, stucco, etc)… it is very unlikely that a “safety officer” or “OSHA” would have looked at the scaffolding at the site.

And even if it was… it could have been moved minutes later. I’m not walking anyone’s scaffolding unless I look at myself.

I agree Nick, espeically if put up by someone else.
Best thing to do, to insure one’s own safety.:slight_smile: