Mobile Scaffolds

Mobile Scaffolds

Serious injuries and, in some cases, deaths have been known to result from failure to recognize known scaffolding hazards and guard against them.

Scaffolding has been one of the primary tools used to perform elevated work in the construction industry. Scaffolds are useful because they allow you to gain access to work areas that are above floor level while providing a work platform. However, because of the design and configuration of mobile scaffolds—sometimes referred to as Baker scaffolds—they can become unstable when supporting a load.

One of the greatest hazards associated with mobile scaffolds is the risk of overturning. Workers who utilize mobile scaffolds, as well as those who erect and disassemble them,must be familiar with the common hazards and the correlating OSHA requirements.mobile scaffolds

A few of the OSHA requirements regarding mobile scaffolds are listed below. More detailed requirements are listed in the OSHA standard at Subpart L 1926.452(w), entitled “Mobile Scaffolds.”

  • The scaffold must be erected with cross, horizontal or diagonal braces (or a combination of these) to prevent racking and provide a rigid structure.
  • The scaffold must be plumb, level and squared. All brace connections must be securely fastened.
  • The scaffold casters must have positive wheel and swivel locks to prevent movement of the scaffold when it is in use.
  • The manual force used to move the scaffold must be applied as close to the base as possible, but not more than 5 feet above the supporting surface.
  • Employees shall not ride on scaffolding except under certain conditions. It is a good safety practice that no one be on the scaffold while it is being moved.

Serious injuries and, in some cases, deaths have been known to result from failure to recognize known hazards and guard against them. Here are several safety tips to follow while using a mobile scaffold.

  • Avoid using scaffolds on unfinished or rough surfaces. Evaluate the surrounding area, including ground conditions, when moving a scaffold.
  • Check overhead clearance for power lines or other possible hazards before moving a mobile scaffold. Stay at least 10 feet away from all power lines.
  • Inspect all scaffolds prior to use or at least on a daily basis.
  • Never load a mobile scaffold beyond its maximum capacity.
  • Use extreme caution when mounting and dismounting.

Like everything else used to perform work on a construction site, the use of mobile scaffolds can be safe and productive. You must ensure that the proper precautions are taken and that the device is kept in good condition.