Articles

    Boards and Rails

    February 1st, 2012 by David H. Glabe, P.E.

    A quiz that evaluates your understanding of the correct installation and use of supported scaffold platforms and fall protection.

    How well do you know the mandatory standards that dictate how we are to build scaffolds?  Specifically, how well do you know the mandatory standards that counsel us in the proper design and construction of scaffold platforms and fall protection?  Let’s find out!

    Here is a quiz to see if you know your stuff.  The answers can be found below.  The first set of questions is “true or false” while the second set is “fill in the blank.”  No cheating on this; try it first from memory and if you don’t get a perfect score see if you can find the correct answer in the federal OSHA standards.  And don’t look at the answers until you are done!

    1. All scaffolds need at least one platform to be a scaffold.
    2. The minimum width platform for a suspended scaffold is 24 inches.
    3. The maximum width platform for a two point suspended scaffold is 48 inches.
    4. A boom lift does not need a guardrail system.
    5. You can guess at the required strength of a fall protection anchor as long as it looks like it can hold 5,000 pounds.
    6. Plank used for a platform can be of any material and strength as long as it can hold four times the intended load.
    7. Aluminum plank cannot be used with steel scaffolding because of galvanic action.
    8. The minimum distance a solid sawn wood plank must overhang its support is 12 inches unless it is secured from movement.
    9. The height of a toprail above a scaffold platform is 42 inches, plus or minus 3 inches.
    10. You must wear personal fall protection equipment and have a guardrail system when working on a multi-point suspended scaffold.
    11. If you are wearing personal fall protection while on a tubular welded frame scaffold platform, you don’t need a guardrail if the platform is no more than 7 feet above the level below.
    12. Same question, different platform height:  If you are wearing personal fall protection while on a tubular welded frame scaffold, you don’t need a guardrail if the platform is no more than 12 feet above the level below.
    13. Toeboards are part of the guardrail system.
    14. If you know you are not going to fall, you don’t need fall protection while on a scaffold.
    15. You have to wear personal fall protection and have a guardrail on a mobile scaffold if you are going to ride it.

    Answers to the True and False Questions:  1, True; 2, False; 3, False; 4, False; 5, False; 6, True; 7, False; 8, False; 9, False; 10, False; 11, Trick question—you don’t need fall protection because the platform is less than ten feet above the lower level — True; 12, True; 13, False; 14, Don’t you wish-False; 15, False, but then if you are riding it you like to tempt fate.

    Fill inthe blank

    1. The maximum gap between platform units is ___________________ inches.
    2. The minimum toprail strength is ______________________ pounds.
    3. The height at which fall protection is required on scaffolds is _____________ feet.
    4. The minimum overlap for plank is _____________ inches unless the plank is secured from movement.
    5. The minimum width platform on a supported scaffold is _____________inches.
    6. Fall protection for scaffold erectors is determined by the _____________________ competent person.
    7. For a platform on a supported scaffold, the platform shall extend from the front _________________ to the _________________ supports.
    8. Designed personal fall protection anchors must have a safety factor of _____ to one.
    9. Scaffold Platforms shall be designed by a _________________ person.
    10. The maximum space between the edge of the platform to the guardrail system is _________________ inches.
    11. For normal use, if the front edge of the platform is no more than __________ inches from the work surface, it is not considered an open sided edge and does not need fall protection.
    12. The stamp on the side of a scaffold grade plank shall read: ________________________.
    13. If an 8’0’ long plank is not secured, the maximum cantilever past its support is _________inches.
    14. The maximum distance between guardrail posts on a scaffold is ___________ feet.
    15. When you hook off the lanyard of your personal fall protection system to the toprail of a scaffold guardrail system, the rail has to be able to support __________pounds.

    Answers to Fill in the Blank questions: 16, one; 17, two hundred; 18, ten; 19, twelve; 20, eighteen; 21, employer’s; 22, uprights, guardrail; 23, two; 24, qualified; 25, nine and one half; 26, fourteen; 27, it shouldn’t read anything– there is no requirement; 28, twelve; 29, trick question—there is no maximum as long as the rails can support 200 pounds; 30, 200—your personal fall protection isn’t being used since you are behind the guardrail, you are just “storing” your hook!

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