Potential scaffolding hazards and their mitigations

Employees working on a scaffolding need to be trained

All employees must be trained by a qualified person to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and how to control or minimize those hazards.  The training must include fall hazards, falling object hazards, electrical hazards, proper use of the scaffold, and handling of materials.

Hazards while working on a scaffolding: We have to identify all the hazards for scaffolding work, after identifying we have to mitigate these hazards and we have to make sure all safeguards is in place. Potential scaffold hazards are-scaff

  • Falls from elevation – caused by slipping, unsafe access, and lack of fall protection.
  • Struck by – falling tools and debris.
  • Electrocution – from overhead power lines.
  • Scaffold collapse – caused by instability of overloading.
  • Bad planking – giving way to materials or occupant load.

Fall hazard: Among all fall hazard is most common, workers might be exposed by fall hazards below ways-

  • While climbing – on or off the scaffold.
  • Working – on unguarded scaffold platforms.
  • Equipment failure – When scaffold platforms or planks fail

Fall hazard protection: It is mandatory to protect all scaffold worker from fall, we have to ensure all active or passive fall protection while working in a scaffolding-

Guardrails: Guard rail is most effective fall protection system, Guardrails should be installed along open sides and ends.



Along the Front edge – of platforms not more than 14 inches from the work.  For lathing and plastering, a gap of 18 inches is permitted.

Top rails – should be no less than 38 and no more than 45 inches tall.

Midrails – should be placed halfway between top rail and platform.  For construction work, mid-rails may not be spaced more 19 inches apart.



Toeboards _ must be at least 3-1/2 inches high.  Open spacing between the toe board and platform can not exceed ¼ inches.

Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS): If a worker on a scaffold can fall more than 10 feet, he or she must be protected by – Guardrails and/or Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS)


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