I am frequently asked how I inspect scaffolds and whether there is a checklist available for use for supported scaffolds. Here is a checklist that I developed and can be used for supported scaffolds:
SUPPORTED SCAFFOLD INSPECTION PROCEDURE
This inspection procedure is intended to be used as a guideline in the evaluation of constructed scaffolds. This procedure is not intended to be a substitute for training, experience, and knowledge. All scaffolds, by law, must be constructed under the supervision f a competent person, a person who can identify hazards and has the authority to eliminate those hazards.
Consider the following:
___Familiarize yourself with all applicable codes, standards, and regulations, including company rules.
___Inspect the overall jobsite for organization, housekeeping, coordination of workers, safety equipment, and safety procedures.
___Observe the erection crew for procedure, fall protection, coordination, and organization.
___Observe the overall scaffold. Does it appear to be constructed properly?
___Does the overall appearance of the scaffold suggest quality construction?
___Is the scaffold plumb?
___Is the scaffold level?
___Are guardrail systems installed on all open platforms?
___Is the guardrail system between 36 and 45 inches high? (42-45 inches in CA)
___Is the guardrail system strong enough?
___If there is no guardrail system, are occupants wearing proper fall arrest equipment?
___Is falling object protection provided where required?
___Sight up the scaffold. Is it straight or is there an “s” curve?
___Inspect the foundation. Are there sills?
___If screwjacks are used, are the handles tight?
___Are there base plates?
___Is there full contact between the base plates and the sills and/or foundations?
___Is there any evidence of settlement?
___Is there any evidence of wet soil or erosion?
___Is the ground or soil compacted?
___Is there access?
___How high is the first step? (It should be less than 24 inches)
___ If a ladder is used, is there a rest platform at 35 feet or less?
___Does the ladder extend above the top platform or is there a handhold?
___Is the ladder rung spacing less than 16-3/4 inches?
___Is there proper access between the ladder and the platform?
___If a stairway is used, are the handrails installed and the guardrails installed?
___Is the scaffold tied to the structure?
___If there are no ties, is the height to base ratio less than 4 to 1? (Or 3 to 1in come states)
___Inspect the ties. Can they resist both tension and compression loads?
___What is the tie spacing? (Assuming that ties are required)
___Is the scaffold tied to the structure at proper intervals?
___How do the platforms look?
___Are all platforms at least 18 inches wide?
___Is the space between the platform and the work surface less than 14 inches? (18 inches for plasterers and latherers)
___If the space is more than 14 inches, is fall protection provided?
___If not, are the workers properly protected from falls?
___What is the maximum spacing between plank? (It should be less than 1”unless you can show this is not possible; e.g. around scaffold legs)
___Is the maximum space between the platform and the guardrail system less than 9-1/2”?
___Are the spans of the plank consistent with the strength of the plank?
___Is there proper support for the plank?
___Is the plank overlap sufficient? (12 inches minimum)
___Is the plank overhang sufficient? (6 inches minimum, 12 inches max for 10’ plank, 18 inches max for 16’ plank)
___If the plank do not have sufficient overhang/overlap, are the plank secured against movement?
___Are the plank secured from uplift?
___Are cantilevers minimized and within the regulations?
___Is the scaffold tagged in any way that would limit the use?
___Are there any electrical lines that might energize the scaffold? (and the workers!)
___If side brackets are used, are they properly installed?
___Are all scaffold components in good condition?
___Are the materials loaded on the scaffold safely supported?
___Is the scaffold overloaded?
___Are the users of the scaffold trained in the recognition of electrical, fall, and falling object hazards?