A scaffold used for construction should be inspected before it is used for the first time and then every 7 days until it is removed. It should also be inspected each time it is exposed to conditions likely to cause deterioration eg following adverse weather conditions or following substantial alteration.
OSHA Scaffolding Inspection Requirements
From 2013 to 2015, scaffolding citations have been some of the most frequent violations recorded during OSHA inspections. Each year there are thousands of scaffold-related violations, ranging from using uninspected scaffold installations to overloading scaffolding beyond the maximum weight capacity.
While posting OSHA compliant scaffold safety signs can alert workers to the potential danger of unfinished scaffolds and to their safe use, scaffolding still needs to be inspected periodically as required by OSHA.
There are many requirements set by OSHA to ensure a thorough inspection. OSHA’s Inspection Procedures for Enforcing Subpart L, Scaffolds Used in Construction – 29 CFR 1926.450-454 establishes the methods for scaffold inspections.
OSHA inspections are prioritized on a basis of risk assessment. The greater the potential danger to a worker, the higher priority an inspection is to OSHA. As examples, if someone were to report scaffolding that is supported by loose bricks or cement blocks, or if workers were found on scaffolds during a storm or windy conditions, OSHA would inspect that worksite a high priority.
Under OSHA standards all parts of a scaffold, including fittings, beams, ropes, and frames, shall be periodically inspected before scaffold use. Scaffolding inspection requirements for periodic inspection must be carried out by a competent person who can identify hazards and has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to remove or avoid a hazard.
Copies of scaffold specifications and drawings by engineers are required to be available to employers and inspectors.
Other scaffolding inspection requirements include providing fall protection equipment to workers that are building scaffolding or taking it apart. For all of the standards and scaffolding inspection requirements, visit OSHA.gov.