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May 14, 2014
Uphold safety with this scaffold inspection checklist

Workers can be exposed to many hazards on the job—and so can their scaffold equipment. That’s why it’s essential that a “competent person” inspect the equipment each day before employees use it. Here’s a checklist for the inspection:

Scaffold safety

  • Are power lines near the scaffold deenergized?
  • Is the scaffold at least 10 feet away from any energized power lines?
  • Is the scaffold suitable for the loads and materials that will be in place this day as well as for weather conditions and the employees using it?
  • Is the scaffold secured to a building or structure as required?
  • Is the scaffold plumb, square, and level?
  • Are footings level, sound, rigid, and capable of supporting the loaded scaffold?
  • Is the load on the scaffold within its maximum load capacity?
  • Are workers aware of the maximum load capacity of the scaffold?
  • Are the legs, posts, frames, and uprights on baseplates and mudsills?
  • Are any bends, cracks, holes, rust, welding splatter, pits, broken welds, or noncompatible parts visible on metal components?
  • Is safe access available?

Scaffold planking

  • Is the lumber used for the scaffold “scaffold grade”?
  • Are wooden planks free from cracks, splits greater than ¼ inch, long-end splits, large loose knots, warps greater than ¼ inch, gouges, mold, separated laminates, and grain sloping greater than 1 in 12 inches from the long edge?
  • Are planks that deflect 1/60 of the span or 2 inches in a 10-foot plank removed from service?
  • Are planks close together, with spaces no more than 1 inch around uprights?
  • Are 10-foot or shorter planks at least 6 to 12 inches over the center line of the support, and no more than 18 inches over the end?

Scaffold platforms

  • Are all working platforms fully planked?
  • Is the platform 14 inches or more away from the wall, or 18 inches or less away if workers are plastering/stuccoing?
  • Are guardrails and midrails in place on platforms where work is being done?
  • Is the area under and around the platform secure to control falling object hazards?
  • Are braces, tie-ins, and guying in use at each end, at appropriate intervals both vertically and horizontally, to prevent tipping?
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