Business unit > Scaffolding


According to OSHA, nearly 65 percent of workers in the construction industry work on scaffolds frequently. From steel erectors to building equipment installers, bricklayers, window washers, carpenters, insulators and painters, just to name a few, nearly 2.3 million construction workers frequently work on scaffolds.

Construction sites are inherently unstable environments, with movement of workers, materials, etc. and changing landscapes. In 2004, approximately 400,000 workers suffered construction site injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in 1996 that 25 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents had received no scaffold training. With the high potential for serious injury, construction safety education remains a top priority.

About Scaffolding

A scaffold is defined as an elevated, temporary work platform. The three basic types of scaffolds are:

Supported scaffolds, which consist of one or more platforms supported by rigid, load bearing members, such as poles, legs, frames, outriggers, etc. Common types of supported scaffolds are frame, system, mobile (rolling), etc.

Suspended scaffolds, which are one or more platforms suspended by ropes or other non rigid, overhead support. Suspended scaffolds are often used when washing windows or to access bridges and other structures when overhead support is the best option.

Other scaffolds, principally man lifts, cherry pickers, scissor lifts, etc., are sometimes thought of as vehicles or machinery but can be regarded as another type of supported scaffold.

Preventing Scaffolding Accidents

The most important preventive measures are training and education, proper selection of equipment, and proper use of equipment. Education is the most powerful tool in reducing the number and severity of scaffold related injuries.

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