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Fall Protection

A fall protection system ( i.e. guardrail system) must be installed on all scaffolds with a working height greater than 6 feet.

  • Top rails must be between 38-45 inches above the platform
    • capable of supporting at least 200 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction.
  • Midrails - installed midway between the toprail and the platform surface
    • capable of supporting at least 150 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction.
  • Cross-bracing is not acceptable as and entire guardrail system, but is acceptable for a toprail when the crossing point of the two braces is between 38 and 48 inches above the work platform and for midrails when between 20 inches and 30 inches above the work platform. 

Personal fall arrest systems used on scaffolds are required when the guardrail system is incomplete or does not provide adequate protection. Lanyards or connecting devices must be connected to a vertical lifeline (1st choice), a horizontal lifeline (2nd Choice), or a structural member of the scaffold (last choice).

Falling Object Protection

Toeboards must be installed on work platforms  where materials or tools will be in use. Toeboards must be installed not more than 1/4 inch above the platform and securely fastened and be at least 3 1/4 inches in height. They may be made of solid material or mesh with opening no greater than 1 inch. Toeboards must be capable of withstanding at least 50 pounds applied in a downward or outward direction. 

Additional protection from falling debris and other small objects must be provided in areas where personnel will be in the vicinity of scaffolds. Such protection may be in the form of: 

  • Barricades to keep personnel out of a hazardous area,
  • screens which are erected between the toeboard and the handrail of the work platform,
  • debris nets to catch material before they hit the ground, or
  • canopy structures made of solid materials.

Large or heavy materials stored on the scaffold platform must be located away from edges of the work platform and secured, if necessary.

SAFETY REMINDER - IF THE PLATFORM BREAKS YOU BECOME ONE OF THE STATISTICS CAUSING FALLS TO BE THE LEADING KILLER IN OUR INDUSTRY!


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