Wall Forms and Safe Access
Getting to and from work platforms is important to both safety and production. Normally, ladders are the selected method. Follow these safe work practices to assure safe access and egress to and from wall form work platforms:
- Once the wall form work platform is constructed, ladders or other approved methods must be used to access it. If the elevation change is greater than 19 inches when stepping from the floor to the work platform, install a step for safe access.
- Workers ARE NOT permitted to climb the form or rebar to gain access to a wall form work platform. It makes NO DIFFERENCE that a worker is tied-off during the climbing process. The hazard with 100% tie-off while climbing the form to access a work platform involves the positions workers are in as they attempt to climb on and off the work platform. In addition, the vertical form itself does not have the same climbing characteristics as a ladder.
- You are permitted to climb the vertical face of the wall form only when work is performed on the form, for example, when installing or removing taper-ties. Make sure walls are braced before climbing.
- When you’re working off a work platform, fall protection is required if your feet are 6 feet or more above a lower level. This is typically provided through the use of guardrails on the back side of the working platform and ensuring the platform is at least 39 inches below the top of the form. If this is not feasible, there are a few options available:
- Install a 2nd working platform, complete with guardrails, on the opposite side of the wall form
- Install a guardrail system at the standard 21-inch (midrail) and 42-inch (top rail) heights on the opposite side of the wall form
- Practice 100% fall protection using retractable lanyards (this is the last resort to be used ONLY if nothing else is feasible)
- Remember, Anchorage point for 6 foot shock absorbing lanyards must be 18.5 feet from the lower level and 14.5 feet for retractable lanyards.
- Falling onto rebar is also a serious hazard as well. When working over rebar the rebar must be protected. Wood or metal reinforced plastic rebar caps must be used. Standard plastic rebar caps that are not reinforced are NOT approved protection.