Scaffolding Operator Safety Checklist

Posted on August 25, 2021 in Scaffolding

Scaffolding Solutions project at James Madison University

Working at height is necessary for most construction, restoration, and repair projects. But constant vigilance and a commitment to safety are vital when working on scaffolding.  

Scaffolding Solutions successfully and safely installed several systems, including the Octo, Swing Stages by BeeAccess, Geda 660, and hoists from BetaMax. Western Waterproofing and the hospital were very pleased with the results of this complicated project. The job was completed on time and on budget with minimal disruption to hospital operations. Let Scaffolding Solutions Help You Tackle Your Next Scaffolding Install Project At Scaffolding Solutions, our experience and technical know-how allow us to undertake the most complex and challenging jobs. Our hoist and scaffolding systems are safe, cost-effective, and durable. We can support your current or next job at any phase of the project with a strong dedication to integrity and professionalism. Contact us today to see why more contractors choose Scaffolding Solutions to help solve their unique challenges.To ensure the safety of every person on the job site, it is important to inspect the scaffolding equipment and work area for potential hazards during installation, modification, and dismantling of the scaffold. 

Checks must also be performed at frequent intervals throughout the project’s duration. 

We’ll cover some common scaffold hazards and OSHA scaffold requirements in this article, and then we’ll provide a basic safety checklist you can reference at the end of this piece. 

Common scaffold hazards include:

  • Scaffolding collapses due to incorrectly built scaffolding that is difficult to construct.
  • Scaffolding collapses due to carelessness with heavy equipment or materials resulting in damage to supports or an overload.
  • Falls from scaffolding due to improper or inadequate guards and fall arrest equipment.
  • Falling object injury due to improper or inadequate toe boards or barricades.
  • Electrocution due to complicated scaffoldings that are difficult to design safely and meet minimum regulatory clearances and safe operation procedures.


OSHA Scaffold Requirements

Due to hazards, scaffoldings are strictly regulated by OSHA and the local government. OSHA establishes and updates universal safety rules and local governments adopt laws governing scaffold safety.

Here are some specific OSHA scaffold requirements you need to know. 

OSHA scaffold requirements and recommendations:

  • 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. [29 CFR 1926.454(a)]
  • Each scaffold and scaffold component must support without failure its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it. [29 CFR 1926.451(a)(1)]
  • Scaffolds and scaffold components must not be loaded in excess of their maximum intended loads or rated capacities, whichever is less. [29 CFR 1926.451(f)(1)]
  • Scaffold planking must be able to support, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the intended load. [29 CFR 1926.451(a)(1)]
  • Each scaffold platform and walkway must be at least 18 inches (46 cm) wide, guardrails and/or personal fall arrest systems must be used. [29 CFR 1926.451(b)(2)]
  • Each platform must be planked and decked as fully as possible with the space between the platform and uprights not more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The space must not exceed 9½ inches (24.1 cm) when side brackets or odd-shaped structures result in a wider opening between the platform and the uprights. [29 CFR 1926.451(b)(1)]
  • To ensure adequate protection, install guardrails along all open sides and ends before releasing the scaffold for use by employees, other than the erection and dismantling crews. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(i)]
  • Employers must provide access when the scaffold platforms are more than 2 feet (0.6 m) above or below a point of access. [29 CFR 1926.451(e)(1)]
  • Employers must provide fall protection for each employee on a scaffold more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above a lower level. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)]
  • To protect employees from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects, install toeboards, screens, guardrail systems, debris nets, catch platforms, canopy structures, or barricades. In addition, employees must wear hard hats. [29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2) and 29 CFR 1926.451(h)(3)]


OSHA Competent Person Requirements

A Competent Person is defined as “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.” [29 CFR 1926.32(f)

OSHA mandates that a Competent Person should be present to supervise the installation, modification, and dismantling of the scaffold. This person should perform daily inspections to check for flaws, hazards, or other issues.

Specific duties of a Competent Person when supervising and inspecting scaffolds include:

  • Scaffolds should be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered under the supervision and direction of a Competent Person. 
  • Scaffold components of different manufacturers should not be modified or intermixed without the supervision and review of a Competent Person. 
  • Direct connections should be evaluated by a Competent Person to confirm supporting surfaces can support the loads. 
  • Ropes should be inspected for defects by a Competent Person prior to each work shift and after every occurrence which could affect a rope’s integrity.
  • A Competent Person should determine whether it is possible to have employees use a safe means of access.
  • Scaffolds should be inspected for visible defects by a Competent Person before each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold’s structural integrity.
  • Work on scaffolds is prohibited during storms or high winds unless a Competent Person has determined that it is safe for use and employees are protected by a personal fall arrest system or windscreens. 
  • A Competent Person should determine the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. 


Scaffolding Safety Checklist

Now that we’ve covered the OSHA requirements, here is a general safety checklist you can use to ensure your job site is safe. 


  • A Competent Person supervised the installation, modification, and dismantling of the scaffold.
  • All workers are trained to recognize and minimize hazards associated with the type of scaffolding used.
  • Scaffolding components are complete, without defects, and appropriately installed.
  • The scaffold should be secured to the structure.
  • Leg braces are appropriately installed to the frame of the scaffold.
  • Base plates and mud sills are adequately sized and rigidly installed to the frame of the scaffold.
  • The scaffold, standards, and planks are leveled.
  • Toeboards, tubes, planks, brackets should be rigidly installed; wedges should be tight.
  • Scaffold platforms and walkways are at least 18 inches wide.
  • All planks have a minimum of 12-inch overlap and extend 6 inches beyond supports.
  • All OSHA required and necessary guardrails and barricades are installed appropriately.
  • Workers are aware of scaffolding designs and account for the types of materials and equipment that can be safely supported by the scaffold. 
  • All clamps and locking mechanisms have been visually inspected and are secured.
  • All scaffold access points have been visually inspected and are safe and secured.



  • A green “SAFE FOR USE” should be attached to scaffold components that were inspected and deemed safe for use.
  • Any time a change in the work area or scaffolding occurs, the structure should be reexamined. A yellow “CAUTION” tag should be attached on modified scaffold components, replacing green “SAFE FOR USE” tags.
  • A red “DO NOT USE” tag should be attached at scaffold access points and scaffold components that failed inspections and were deemed unsafe.



  • All workers and authorized visitors are wearing the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment.
  • The work area around the scaffold has been visually inspected and is secured.
  • The work platform is free of clutter, mud, oil, or any tripping hazard. 
  • Work area safety signs are placed at locations clearly visible to workers and authorized visitors.


The Scaffolding Solutions Commitment to Safety

At Scaffolding Solutions, we believe that there are no shortcuts to safety. Our company integrates safety into each employee’s job requirements and we hold our team to the highest standards.

To learn more about our safety standards and training, read through our scaffolding safety guide. You can also contact Scaffolding Solutions if you have any questions about erecting or dismantling a scaffold for your job site.


Read Our Guide to Scaffolding Safety


Memberships & Associations

Customer Testimonials

Lynn PierceLynn Pierce ★★★★★ Great service! Exceptional communication! I’m greatly to worked with Scaffolding Solutions.John WoodJohn Wood ★★★★★ Our heavy mechanical construction company have worked with Scaffolding Solutions for years now. Scaffolding Solutions are amazingly fast, responsive, & professional. They always exceed our expectations! Mr. Frank Giuliano is absolutely the best. Frank is always accommodating, extremely knowledgeable and always “safety first” in his approach to our scaffolding needs. We manage heavy mechanic projects within the transportation industry for Government agencies and Scaffolding Solutions & Mr Giuliano always exceed our clients needs. We highly recommend Scaffolding Solutions & Mr. Frank Giuliano for any, commercial or residential projects, you or your company has. 5 STARS! OUTSTANDING QUALITY WORK! GREAT COMPETITIVE RATES!Response from the ownerThank you, John! We are proud to be your "access partner of choice". Looking forward to many more successful projects to come. Thank you for your business! Hal CoganHal Cogan ★★★★★ Frank and his team with Scaffolding Solutions were great! Even with last minute changes and numerous headaches the day of they still got the job done. I look forward to working with them again!Response from the ownerThank you, Hal! Our goal is to provide the best service, safety and pricing of any other access company in the DMV. Exceeding your expectations is our mission! Hann HannHann Hann ★★★★★ Frank & his team didn't meet our expectations, they exceeded them. Everyone was extremely professionally throughout the project. Communication was over the top. Couldn't have asked for more complete turnkey service. Scaffolding Solutions is top of the list for any scaffold or shoring needs.Response from the ownerThank you! The amazing partnership, friendship and teamwork we have with Hann and Hann is what we're all about. We appreciate your business! rolando Tobarrolando Tobar ★★★★★ Great work & access to all kind of work ...The best in the DMVResponse from the ownerThank you Rolando! Our goal is to provide the best service of any other access company in the DMV. Kevin TaylorKevin Taylor ★★★★★ The team at Scaffold Solutions really got me out of a bind this past week. Set-up scaffold on Saturday morning and came back Sunday morning to take it back down. Communication was great, speed and safety were excellent and price was fair. I appreciate the solid communication and follow-up from their team and they did a great job helping me get the steel installed in the elevator shaft. Thank you!Response from the ownerThank you Kevin! We were very happy to partner with you on this work and "get it done". Safety, communication, speed - and great pricing. You hit the nail on the head my friend! Diana MiraldiDiana Miraldi ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThank you for your 5-star review Diana! Giselle AllenGiselle Allen ★★★★★ I recently had my fourth floor loft terrace enclosed. Scaffolding Solutions, LLC is the only choice you need to ensure your project is successful! Frank Giuliano visited my home and assessed the area, then coordinated with the Patio Enclosure installation manager to build a custom design that was efficient for the project. Frank’s customer service was remarkable. He constantly communicated updates and I felt very comfortable contacting him with any questions. The scaffolding crew only took one day to assemble and disassemble the scaffold without incident. They were pleasant, professional and respectful of my property. Hands down this was the best experience and I definitely recommend Scaffolding Solutions, LLC.Response from the ownerThank you Giselle! We were happy to be able to help you with your project...and are very glad the experience was so positive for you. Have an amazing day! G Man PalenciaG Man Palencia ★★★★★ Joe PodgurskiJoe Podgurski ★★★★★ fernando santos sanchezfernando santos sanchez ★★★★★ el lugar luce muy bonito, la atención muy amableMichael MatiasMichael Matias ★★★★★ Ruff Ryder SincereRuff Ryder Sincere ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThank you Ruff! We appreciate your business and look forward to many more successful projects together! Luis Jomar Rodriguez SanchezLuis Jomar Rodriguez Sanchez ★★★★★ Shannon WalkerShannon Walker ★★★★★ Charles AppichCharles Appich ★★★★★ Richard WhiteRichard White ★★★★★ Chad EssexChad Essex ★★★★★ Andi LopezAndi Lopez ★★★★★ Muy buenoDomonic ClardyDomonic Clardy ★★★★★ David BucciarelliDavid Bucciarelli ★★★★★ Fantastic companyMatthew AlemanMatthew Aleman ★★★★★ i love the work they did at DCJose PietriJose Pietri ★★★★★ Great company and innovative scaffolds!Diana DuVallDiana DuVall ★★★★★ The best service and competitive pricing!Tony BullockTony Bullock ★★★★★ I work hereJoel DiazJoel Diaz ★★★★★ Timmy WilloughbyTimmy Willoughby ★★★★★ Scaffolding Solutions... All I can say is "WOW". I was impressed with the professionalism, courtesy and efficiency of the complete experience.js_loader