OSHA Scaffolding Regulations for the Construction Industry
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According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) , 25% of workers were injured in scaffold accidents and did not receive any scaffold safety training. Additionally, 77% of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails.
In 1996, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued revised safety standards related to scaffolds. The new final rule addresses these and other matters not previously covered by the OSHA scaffold standards.
Scaffold, as defined by OSHA, is “any temporary elevated platform and its supporting structure used for supporting employees or materials or both”.
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Subpart L of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), known as “Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry”, addresses scaffolding topics specific to the construction industry. These standards regulate the design, construction and use of scaffolds. These standards also address specific types of scaffolding, such as supported scaffolds and suspended scaffolds.
The final rule sets performance-based criteria to protect employees from scaffold-related hazards such as falls, falling objects, structural instability, electrocution or overloading. According to the a BLS study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. This can lead to serious injury or potentially even death.
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Additionally, the final rule allows employers greater flexibility in the use of fall protection systems (i.e. guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems) to protect employees working on scaffolds and extends fall protection to erectors and dismantlers of scaffolds.
Another area that the final rule strengthens is training for workers using scaffolds, and inspection of scaffolds and scaffold components. The conditions under which employees must be retrained are also specified in the final rule.
To view the revised scaffolding standards, click here.
Contact the Experienced Pittsburgh Construction Accident Attorneys at Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC
If you or someone you love has been injured in a scaffolding accident at a construction site, call the construction accident attorneys of Pennsylvania at Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC for a free investigation and evaluation. We work on cases throughout Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Beaver, Erie, Altoona, and Washington, PA. Our office is located at 310 Grant St #720, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 and consultations can be scheduled both online here or via phone call at (412) 471-4300.