Long Way Up, Long Way Down
"Long Way Up, Long Way Down"
The phrase used for most common accidents involving scaffolding. Falls from high places are usually serious. Studies show half of all people hitting a hard surface with a velocity of 18 miles per hour – that’s 27-feet per second - will be killed. This means you could die from a fall of only 11-feet. 90% of all falls involving scaffolds happen while workers are performing routine jobs and the average height of those falls are 12 to 15 feet. A 200-pound man falling at a distance of 6-feet produces 1200 pounds of force.
A trained "Competent Person" should be used to supervise all scaffold erections and must be able to take prompt action to eliminate predictable hazards. Logically then, he/she should be within line of sight of erection, dismantling or alteration activity.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when erecting the scaffold.
- Do not work on scaffolds outside during stormy or windy weather.
- Do not climb on scaffolds that wobble or lean to one side.
- Initially inspect the scaffold prior to mounting it. Do not use a scaffold if any pulley, block, hook or fitting is visibly worn, cracked, rusted or otherwise damaged.
- Do not use a scaffold if any rope is frayed, torn or visibly damaged.
- Do not use any scaffold tagged "Out of Service".
- Do not use unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick or concrete blocks to support scaffolds or planks.
- Do not work on platforms or scaffolds unless they are fully planked.
- Do not use a scaffold unless guardrails and all flooring are in place.
- Level the scaffold after each move. Do not extend adjusting leg screws more than 12 inches.
- Do not walk or work beneath a scaffold unless a wire mesh has been installed between the mid-rail and the toe-board or planking.
- Use your safety belts and lanyards when working on scaffolding at a height of 10 feet or more above ground level. Attach the lanyard to a secure member of the scaffold.
- Do not climb the cross braces for access to the scaffold. Use the ladder.
- Do not jump from, to, or between scaffolding.
- Do not slide down cables, ropes or guys used for bracing.
- Keep both feet on the decking. Do not sit or climb on the guardrails.
- Do not lean out from the scaffold. Do not rock the scaffold.
- Keep the scaffold free of scraps, loose tools, tangled lines and other obstructions.
- Do not throw anything "overboard" unless a spotter is available. Use the debris chutes or lower things by hoist or by hand.
- Do not move a mobile scaffold if anyone is on the scaffold.
- Chock the wheels of the rolling scaffold, using the wheel blocks, and also lock the wheels by using your foot to depress the wheel-lock, before using the scaffold.