Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Safe Work Practices
Understand the Following:
• OSHA and the mobile scaffold safety regulations
• Hazards associated with operating mobile scaffolds
• How to control mobile scaffold hazards
• Proper use of mobile scaffolds
• Proper materials handling on mobile scaffolding
• Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Mobile scaffold inspection procedures
• Training requirements
• Equipment operation practical (by supervisor)
The Occupational Safety and Health
• The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 …assures so far
as possible that every working man and woman in the nation,
has safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our
• OSHA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor
• The act resulted in the development of health and safety-specific
standards which are now federal and state laws
• Several OSHA laws mandate the safe use and operation of mobile
Each employee who performs work while on a scaffold must receive
training on the OSHA-required subject matter. This will better enable
them to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being
used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those
Specific Mobile Scaffold Training Requirements
There are no OSHA provisions that specifically address scissor-type
lifts; however, since scissor lifts do meet the definition of a scaffold
(29 CFR 1926.451), so employers must comply with the other
applicable provisions of Subpart L when using scissors lifts. Since
scissors lifts are mobile, the specific requirements for mobile scaffolds
in the scaffold standard (29 CFR 1926.452(w) must be met.
This presentation provides the above information which is
beneficial to the safe operation and use of mobile scaffolds at UAF.
In your department, a hands-on orientation and assessment is also
required prior to using any mobile scaffold equipment.
OSHA standards cover over 25 types of scaffolds!
- Pole scaffolds: Single-pole wood pole
scaffolds. Independent wood pole
- Tube and coupler scaffolds.
- Fabricated frame scaffolds.
- Plasterers', decorators' and large area
- Bricklayers' square scaffolds.
- Horse scaffolds.
- Form scaffolds and carpenters' bracket
- Roof bracket scaffolds.
- Outrigger scaffolds (one level).
- Pump jack scaffolds.
- Ladder jack scaffolds.
- Window jack scaffolds.
- Tank builders' scaffolds.
- Crawling boards (chicken ladders).
- Step, platform and trestle ladder scaffolds.
- Single-point adjustable suspension
- Two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds.
- Stonesetters' multi-point adjustable
- Masons' multi-point adjustable suspension
- Catenary scaffolds.
- Float (ship) scaffolds.
- Interior hung scaffolds.
- Needle beam scaffolds.
- Multi-level suspension scaffolds.
- Repair bracket scaffolds.
- MOBILE SCAFFOLDS.
This presentation will cover Mobile Scaffolds only!
Definition of a Mobile Scaffold
Mobile scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold set on
wheels or casters.
Examples: Scissor-type lifts (Genie Lift) and mobile towers
They can be powered or non-powered and are designed to be
easily moved and are commonly used for things like painting
and plastering, changing out light bulbs, or any overhead work
etc., where workers must frequently change position.
Does not include Aerial Lifts like certain vehicle-mounted
elevating and rotating work platforms, namely "extensible boom
platforms," "aerial ladders," "articulating boom platforms,"
"vertical towers,” and combinations of any of the above, etc.,
which are covered under the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1926.453, Aerial
The perfect piece of equipment for
increasing worksite productivity, scissor
lifts are typically used where less reach
and height, but more workspace and
lifting capacity, are required.
They are designed with larger platform
work areas and generally allow for
heavier loads than boom lifts.
Scissor lifts may be maneuvered in a
manner similar to boom lifts, but the
platform typically can only be raised
vertically, except for some models that
extend their deck horizontally a short
Mobile towers are lightweight, with fast
assembly and dismantling usually needing
no special tools.
They are incredibly versatile and are
ideal for jobs which are going to take just
a few hours such as residential and/or
commercial painting and general
When used properly, they are safe and
usually a lot safer than trying to work from
Scaffold casters and wheels shall be locked with positive wheel and/or wheel
and swivel locks, or equivalent means, to prevent movement of the scaffold
while the scaffold is used in a stationary manner.
Where leveling of the scaffold is necessary, screw jacks or equivalent means
shall be used.
Caster stems and wheel stems shall be pinned or otherwise secured in
scaffold legs or adjustment screws.
Manual force used to move the scaffold shall be applied as close to the base as
practicable, but not more than 5 feet (1.5 m) above the supporting surface
Power systems used to propel mobile scaffolds shall be designed for such use.
Forklifts, trucks, similar motor vehicles or add-on motors shall not be used to
propel scaffolds unless the scaffold is designed for such propulsion systems
Scaffolds shall always be stabilized to prevent tipping during movement.
Mobile Scaffold Safety Requirements
Employees shall not be allowed to ride on scaffolds unless the
following conditions exist:
The surface on which the scaffold is being moved is within 3 degrees of level, and free of pits, holes,
The height to base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is two to one or less, unless the
scaffold is designed and constructed to meet or exceed nationally recognized stability***
Outrigger frames, when used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold
When power systems are used, the propelling force is applied directly to the wheels, and does not
produce a speed in excess of 1 foot per second
No employee is on any part of the scaffold which extends outward beyond the wheels, casters,
or other supports
Platforms shall not extend outward beyond the base supports of the scaffold unless outrigger frames
or equivalent devices are used to ensure stability
Before a scaffold is moved, each employee on the scaffold shall be made aware of the move
Mobile Scaffold Safety Requirements
*** ALWAYS Check Operators Manual for Limitations on riding scaffolding!
Scaffold accidents are most
often the result of a combination of
improper use of the equipment,
a lack of training, and lack of
The following accounts of actual mobile
scaffold accidents show they were absolutely
Mobile Scaffold Accidents
Mobile Scaffolding Accidents
A worker on a self-propelled scissor
lift was installing bolts to connect two
large overhead steel beams. The
platform controls were not protected
against inadvertent operation.
The worker inadvertently activated
the lever for controlling elevation.
The platform elevated. The worker
was pushed firmly onto the control
lever when he was caught between
an overhead beam and the elevating
platform’s guard rail.
The platform continued to rise, fatally
crushing the worker.
What should be done to prevent a
• Use only elevating work platforms
with controls that are protected
against inadvertent operation!
Mobile Scaffolding Accidents
A window washer was killed when the elevated scissor lift he was
operating flopped sideways, throwing him to the pavement below. He
died shortly afterward from massive head and back injuries.
At the time of the accident, the window washer was repositioning the
self-propelled scissor lift. The lift was equipped with an operational tilt
sensor that automatically lowers the operator's lift platform when the tilt
exceeds three degrees to any side.
He was operating the lift on an eight-degree slope, exceeding the slope
capacity by five degrees. However, the wires leading to the tilt sensor
had been intentionally disconnected, leaving the window washer
without any tilt protection.
What should be done to prevent a similar incident?
• Conduct routine equipment inspections
• Verify functionality of all safety devices
• Do not override safety devices
The OSHA Scaffolding standards were the
most frequently cited regulation(s) during
compliance inspections in 2010……
• Scaffold related fatalities still account for approximately
9% of all fatalities on construction sites.
• Whether in construction or general industry, OSHA
has understandably determined that employees using
scaffolds are exposed to a significant risk of harm.
• This stresses the importance of scaffold training!
• The following training topics cover key areas for the
safe operation of your mobile scaffold
Mobile Scaffold Key Training Areas…
Falling object hazards
in the work area
Dealing with electrical
hazards and for erecting,
maintaining, and disassembling
the fall protection and falling
object protection systems
The proper use of the scaffold,
and the proper handling of
materials on the scaffold
The maximum intended load
and the load-carrying
capacities of the scaffolds
Personal Protective Equipment
Electricity has the power to shock, burn, and
kill; not to mention cause fires or explosions
Electrical hazards encountered on a scaffold
can be from power tools and equipment
Misused or damaged extension cords
Contacting overhead power lines
- Always stay at least 10 feet away!
Because metal frame scaffolds are conductive, power tools, cords,
etc., that suffer insulation failure can electrify the entire scaffold. This
poses a risk of electrocution not just to the worker holding the tool,
but also to everyone who contacts the scaffold.
GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupters) are required for any outdoor
or wet condition work using electrically powered equipment
All power cords used on scaffolding will be properly grounded
and inspected prior to and during work, and will be approved for
outdoor or wet conditions when applicable
Do not hang equipment on power cords/lines
Never mix/match 2 prong power/extension cords with 3 prong
Do not set equipment on power cords where they could
Do not place cords where they could become a tripping hazard
Leaning or climbing over scaffold guardrails could result
in a fall off the scaffolding
Horseplay on a scaffold could have serious consequences
Ice, snow, rain and liquids on platform can cause
slips/possible fall….keep as clear/dry as possible
Slips or trips on equipment, tools, etc., used on the
scaffold platform. Keep it tidy!
Proper use of scaffold ladder – Always maintain 3 points
of contact on ladder (both hands and one foot, or both
feet and one hand, at all times while climbing/descending
Lack of Fall Protection puts workers in great danger!
Specific Fall Protection Requirements:
Personal fall protection is required any time employees work on a
scaffold which is not protected by a complete guardrail system and
is 10-feet or more above a lower level.
If a worker leaves the confines of the scaffold platform (which
is adequately guarded) then an additional fall protection device
Proper guardrails at 36-45 inches require no other fall protection
(equipment manufactured before 1 Jan 00)
Proper guardrails at 38-45 inches require no other fall protection
(equipment manufactured after 1 Jan 00)
Rails must withstand 200 pounds
down/horizontal direction applied along
Falling Object Hazards
Tools, equipment, materials, ice, etc. can fall
from work activities on platform, potentially
injuring personnel below
Hardhat required for all users on, and persons
working below, scaffold
Place tools and other equipment or materials
away from edge of platform
Protective zones below scaffold also protect
workers from falling objects
Toe-boards or screens 3 ½ inches high
required on platforms 10 feet high
- Toe-boards help prevent
items from falling off the
working surface (platform)
- Toe-boards on a mobile
Ice/snow/rain on a scaffold platform can
cause slips/possible fall….keep as clear/dry
OSHA says: “NO SCAFFOLD use until
platform is cleared of snow!”
Wind can tip scaffolding
Lightning and metal scaffolding = DANGER!
Outdoor Environmental Hazards
Other Scaffold Hazards:
• Scissor lifts are typically not designed to be
able to hold large, heavy loads that extend beyond
the edges of the platform
• As a scissor lift extends its arms, this type of
load will cause the lift to become unbalanced
(it will be top heavy, with gravity pulling
down on the overhanging section of material),
which can ultimately result in the entire lift overturning
• Setting up the lift on uneven ground, or driving the lift on
uneven surfaces or while the platform is raised could also
result in overturning
Other Scaffold Hazards:
• Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of
working with a scissor lift is the potential
for having a limb or other body part pinched
or crushed in the scissor arms or between
the top rail and overhead structure
• These arms collapse down upon each other at multiple joint locations
when the platform is lowered, all of which serve as entryways for
• Ensure command of platform controls at all times to avoid “over-lfting”
• NEVER put your hands or feet under the platform of the scissor lift
unless you need to perform maintenance. In which case, you will need
to disconnect the power and insert safety bars, which prevent the
platform from collapsing.
Proper Use of a Scaffold:
- Access/egress using only approved ladder or stairs
- No jumping on platform
- Observe/heed prohibited actions
Proper handling of materials on scaffolding:
Use tag lines to hoist equipment onto scaffold
- do not carry materials or equipment up the ladder!
Hand equipment on platform, do not throw, toss, etc
Place items away from edge of platform when
Never walk under awkward/heavy loads being lifted to
the scaffold platform
Prohibited user actions:
- No horseplay on scaffolding!
- No access or operation without training!
- No hanging over or between rails!
- No standing/hanging on outside of scaffold!
- No throwing objects to ground/personnel below
- Loads should not be rigged onto the scissor lift!
- No altering scaffold without competent person
approval and presence!
Competent Person Requirement
Erecting, Maintaining, and Disassembling scaffolds must be done
by a Competent Person. Contact EHS&RM to coordinate these
activities. Note: Scissor-type lifts typically come pre-assembled
and may have only a few parts (like rails. outriggers, or control
boxes) that need to be installed, moved, or stored away.
"Competent Person" means one who is capable of identifying
existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working
conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to
employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective
measures to eliminate them
Don’t forget….Alterations to a scaffold
can only be approved by, and in the
presence of, a Competent Person
OSHA also requires a plan for:
Dealing with electrical hazards and for erecting,
maintaining, and disassembling the fall
protection and falling object protection systems
Electrical Hazards: Contact EHS&RM at 474-5413 or Facilities
Services Dispatch at 474-7000, if you encounter any electrical hazards
Emergency Contacts: Ensure you are familiar with your Department
Emergency Action Plan
Scaffold erecting and maintaining, and disassembling the fall
protection and falling object protection systems: Contact EHS&RM
or Facilities Services for assistance and coordination of these tasks.
Accident Procedures (Follow instructions on EHS&RM website)
Know the maximum intended load and the
load- carrying capacities of the scaffold used
Scaffolds shall be capable of supporting, without
failure; it’s own weight and at least 4 times the
maximum intended load.
Load includes equipment
too, not just people.
Look on the lift spec plate
or label, or in the owner’s
manual, for specific load
Never exceed the max load – it could result in equipment failure or a tip-over
Personal Protective Equipment
A hazard assessment of actual scaffold
activities will determine all PPE required.
Minimum requirements should include:
Safety Eye Wear
Safety Toe Boots/Shoes
Fall Protection Systems
(if guardrails not already built into the scaffold)
Scaffold Set-Up and Access
Place barriers, warning cones, or use traffic spotters at access
points to scaffold use area indicating “authorized personnel only
beyond this point” or similar warning. This will keep passersby
from accidentally walking into your work zone.
Ensure mobile scaffold is not used between shifts
by unauthorized personnel. Prevent access to
equipment and secure powered scaffold operator keys
Ensure guardrails, screens, toe boards, etc. are in place
- Don’t forget any components!
Inspections: Users shall inspect the mobile scaffold
prior to each shift and during use, and report any
defects or concerns to Supervision or work leader.
Equipment may also require routine detailed inspection
per the manufacturer’s instructions (see owners manual)
Recommend using a formal checklist
- Owners manual may have a pre-made checklist
- EHS&RM has a general checklist you may use
Ensure all inspections are documented
For Scaffolds Found to be Defective
If during an inspection, or routine use, you identify a
defective component of the scaffold, you must take
appropriate measures to ensure the equipment is
tagged and taken out of service
Any safety deficiency must be immediately
brought to the supervisor’s attention
Equipment will be affixed with the appropriate
tag and use must be prohibited until the equipment is
repaired. Contact EHS&RM to place tag on equipment.
If the equipment is motorized, also secure away the
starter key from any potential users
READ THAT EQUIPMENT MANUAL!!
All users MUST be familiar with the equipment they will be using!
Review the Owners Manual
Understand The Warning Labels on your equipment!
Safety Alert Symbol: Used to alert personnel to potential personal
injury hazards. Obey all safety messages that follow this symbol to
avoid possible injury or death.
Red Used to indicate the presence of an imminently hazardous situation
which, if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury
Orange Used to indicate the presence of a potentially hazardous situation
which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury
Yellow with safety alert symbol used to indicate the presence of a
potentially dangerous situation which, if not avoided, may cause minor or
Yellow without safety alert symbol Used to indicate the presence of a
situation which, if not avoided, may result in property damage
Green Used to indicate operation or maintenance information
Failure to obey the instructions and safety rules in the
equipment manual can result in death or serious injury
A common “pre-use” checklist for mobile
scaffold inspection, and work area survey
Perform pre-use scaffold inspection
Ensure all users/operators are trained
Survey work area for anticipated hazards
Ensure all PPE is available
All tools/associated equipment safely stored on the platform
Be aware of the scaffold load limits
Close off area when doing major overhead work/projects
Use a signaler or spotter where required
Operate lift only on solid & level ground
Operate lift with all other workers clear of the site
Smooth/safe operating speed for various local conditions
Lift mobilizes only when the unit is in fully lowered position
(Based on recommendations in manufacturers manual)
When the employer has reason to believe that an employee lacks the
skill or understanding needed for safe work involving the erection, use
or dismantling of scaffolds, the employer shall retrain each such
employee so that the requisite proficiency is regained. Retraining is
required in at least the following situations:
Where changes at the worksite present a hazard about which an
employee has not been previously trained; or
Where changes in the types of scaffolds, fall protection, falling object
protection, or other equipment present a hazard about which an
employee has not been previously trained; or
Where inadequacies in an affected employee's work involving
scaffolds indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite
Always retrain in the event of an Accident or Near Miss
Accidents/Injuries while using a
Must be reported immediately to EHS&RM
- regardless of severity!
Use UAF Accident/Incident Report form found
on our website
Call 474-5413 for immediate assistance
Any accident with mobile scaffolding must be
promptly investigated to help prevent future
incidents/accidents and injuries
Last… but not least…
Supervisor Equipment Review
Your supervisor must demonstrate operation of the
equipment you will use
You must practice hands-on operation of the equipment
under the direct observation of your supervisor or other
adequately trained employee
You should be “signed off” on your equipment prior to
your first, unsupervised use.
Before operation, ensure you understand…
The equipment Safety Features of your equipment
What the Warning Labels mean on you equipment
That the manufacturers manual is your best resource for safety
information regarding your specific mobile scaffold equipment!
Continued Supervised Practice or Observation recommended!
Please exit this PowerPoint presentation and
begin the Mobile Scaffold quiz…..
Quiz is located at: www.uaf.edu/safety
- Go to Training/UAF Safety Training PowerPoints
Once you have taken the quiz, hit enter and
your submission will be sent to us for review
NOTE: There is no need to contact us to let us
know you have finished the quiz. Your quiz will
be graded and your score will then be
electronically filed for future reference.
Thank You and Good Luck!