Scaffold and Ladder Safety Training



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This material was produced under grant number

  • This material was produced under grant number

  • SH-17787-08-60-F-24 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

  • This presentation is intended to discuss Federal Regulations only - your individual State requirements may be more stringent as many states operate their own state OSHA and they may have adopted construction standards that are different from information presented in this training. If you live in a state with an OSHA approved state plan, you should contact your local administrator for further information on the standards applicable in your state.

  • These materials are meant for informational purposes only.

  • No representation is made as to the thoroughness of the presentation.



It is not the intent to provide compliance-based training in this presentation, the intent is more to address hazard awareness in the residential construction (i.e. home building) industry, and to recognize the overlapping hazards present in many construction workplaces.

  • It is not the intent to provide compliance-based training in this presentation, the intent is more to address hazard awareness in the residential construction (i.e. home building) industry, and to recognize the overlapping hazards present in many construction workplaces.

  • Photos shown in this presentation may depict situations that are not in compliance with applicable OSHA/safety requirements.

  • No legal advice is offered or implied, and no attorney-client relationship is intended or established. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

  • It is the responsibility of the employer and its employees to comply with all pertinent OSHA/safety rules and regulations in the jurisdiction in which they work.



Falls from scaffolds and ladders are a leading cause of serious and fatal injuries in residential construction.

  • Falls from scaffolds and ladders are a leading cause of serious and fatal injuries in residential construction.

  • The goals of this course are to help you:

    • understand how to correct or eliminate fall hazards on your job sites related to scaffold and ladder use
    • understand the OSHA scaffold and ladder safety requirements


The course is based on the NAHB-OSHA Scaffold Safety Handbook, Scaffold Safety Video, Fall Protection Handbook and Fall Protection Video.

  • The course is based on the NAHB-OSHA Scaffold Safety Handbook, Scaffold Safety Video, Fall Protection Handbook and Fall Protection Video.

  • Participants can use the information from this seminar to:

    • Provide training to employees
    • Implement a ladder and scaffold safety program


Identify the importance of preventing falls from ladders and scaffolds.

  • Identify the importance of preventing falls from ladders and scaffolds.

  • Recognize fall hazards associated with ladder and scaffold use.

  • Identify OSHA requirements for ladders, stairways, and scaffolds.

  • Identify work practices for using ladders and scaffolds safely.



Section 1: Overview

  • Section 1: Overview

  • Section 2: Ladder Safety

  • Section 3: Scaffold Safety

  • Section 4: Group Workshop

  • Section 5: Post Test and Review



  • Section 1: Overview



Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in residential construction.

  • Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in residential construction.

  • Falls (602) were responsible for 45% of residential construction fatalities from 2003 to 2006.

  • 135 (22%) were falls from ladders.

  • 89 (15%) were falls from scaffolding.









Plastering Contractor fined $106,200 for exposing employees to fall hazards while working on a scaffold without using fall protection equipment.

  • Plastering Contractor fined $106,200 for exposing employees to fall hazards while working on a scaffold without using fall protection equipment.

  • Roofing Contractor fined $61,800 following an OSHA inspection for exposing employees to fall hazards including the use of a ladder that did not extend 3 ft. beyond the landing surface.



Subpart L - 1926.451(g)

  • Subpart L - 1926.451(g)

  • Each employee on a scaffold more than 10’ (3.1M) above a lower level shall be protected from falling to a lower level.

  • Subpart X – Ladders

  • Fall protection is not required for workers climbing or working on portable ladders.

  • Subpart X – Stairways

  • Stairways having four (4) or more risers or rising more than 30 inches must be equipped with at least on handrail; and one stairrail system along each unprotected side or edge.



Subpart M - 1926.501(b)(13)

  • Subpart M - 1926.501(b)(13)

  • Residential construction. Each employee engaged in residential construction activities 6’ or more above lower levels must be protected by conventional or alternative fall protection:

  • Exemption: When the employer can demonstrate the protection is infeasible or creates a greater hazard the employer must develop an alternative fall protection plan.







Implement a comprehensive safety program.

  • Implement a comprehensive safety program.

  • Understand OSHA ladder and scaffold regulations.

  • Train workers to identify hazards associated with ladder and scaffold use.

  • Use safe work practices.



  • Section 2: Ladder and Stairway Safety



Determine the proper ladder to use based on weight capacity and height.

  • Determine the proper ladder to use based on weight capacity and height.

  • Calculate the proper pitch of extension ladders for proper set-up, and identify how to secure and stabilize ladders.

  • Identify how to maintain a safe position when using a ladder.

  • Identify safety requirements for protecting stairways.



Improper set-up

  • Improper set-up

  • Portable ladders not 3 feet above landing surface

  • Not securing ladder correctly

  • Standing on the top two steps of a stepladder

  • Overreaching when working from a ladder



Before stepping onto a ladder, think about these things:

  • Before stepping onto a ladder, think about these things:

  • Duty rating of the ladder—what capacity can it hold?

  • Height of the ladder—too short or too tall?

  • Condition of the ladder and instructions unique to the ladder selected.



OSHA Requirement

  • OSHA Requirement

  • Ladders shall not be loaded beyond the maximum intended load for which they were built nor beyond their manufacturer's rated capacity.







Consider placement and pitch of the ladder.

  • Consider placement and pitch of the ladder.

  • Secure and stabilize the ladder.



Extension ladders should be used at a 4 to 1 pitch (1.2 to .3 m).

  • Extension ladders should be used at a 4 to 1 pitch (1.2 to .3 m).

  • For every 4 ft. (1.2 m) in height, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 ft. (.3 m) away from the structure.





When accessing another level, the ladder must extend at least 3ft. (0.9m) above the landing to provide a hand hold for getting on and off the ladder.

  • When accessing another level, the ladder must extend at least 3ft. (0.9m) above the landing to provide a hand hold for getting on and off the ladder.





Extension ladders should be secured at the top or bottom to prevent movement.

  • Extension ladders should be secured at the top or bottom to prevent movement.

  • The base of an extension ladder must be secured in place by using the safety feet on the ladder or other effective means.













Only use in the fully open position on firm level ground.

  • Only use in the fully open position on firm level ground.

  • Do not use a stepladder that is folded or in a leaning position.

  • Never sit/stand on the top two rungs.

  • Consider work height when selecting a stepladder.



  • Stepladders are designed for use in an opened-and-locked position.



  • Do NOT use a stepladder that is folded or in a leaning position.





Face the ladder when ascending or descending.

  • Face the ladder when ascending or descending.

  • Maintain three points of contact at all times.

  • Keep your body centered on the ladder.

  • Never let your belt buckle pass either siderail.





Ladders must be inspected before each use.

  • Ladders must be inspected before each use.

  • Broken or weak ladders or ladders that are not stable must be marked or tagged as defective and taken out of service.

  • Look for cracks and weak points.

  • Competent person must periodically inspect ladders.







Extension ladders should not be separated to create two ladders.

  • Extension ladders should not be separated to create two ladders.

  • Keep the areas around the tops and bottoms of all ladders clear to prevent trip-and-fall hazards.

  • Avoid setting ladders up in high traffic areas or barricade the area around ladder.



Ladders must be kept free of oil, grease, and other slipping hazards.

  • Ladders must be kept free of oil, grease, and other slipping hazards.

  • Consider using a rope to raise/lower materials instead of carrying items while climbing a ladder.

  • Do NOT use metal or aluminum ladders near exposed energized electrical equipment.



  • Section 3: Scaffold Safety



Identify general requirements for safely building and using scaffolds.

  • Identify general requirements for safely building and using scaffolds.

  • Identify competent person responsibilities.

  • How to access scaffolds safely.

  • Determine proper fall protection including guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.

  • Identify safety requirements applicable to specific types of scaffolds.



No guardrails on scaffolds.

  • No guardrails on scaffolds.

  • Defective wood planks and inadequate planking overhang.

  • Unsafe access to scaffold.

  • Cross bracing not adequate.

  • Inadequate footings.

  • Bridging of scaffolds.



Erect/dismantle all Scaffolds According to the Manufacturer's Instructions and Competent Persons (CP) Direction

  • Erect/dismantle all Scaffolds According to the Manufacturer's Instructions and Competent Persons (CP) Direction

    • Capacity
    • Must support 4x Intended Load
  • Stable Footings

    • Base Plate, Screw Jacks & Mudsills


Platforms at Least 18” Wide

  • Platforms at Least 18” Wide

    • Ladder Jack, Pump Jack, Top Plate, and Roof Brackets Can Be 12” Wide
    • Front edge of all platforms within 14” of face of work
      • Exceptions:
        • 3” for outrigger scaffolds
        • 18” for plastering and lathing operations


Scaffolds must be capable of supporting its own weight and at least 4x the expected load.

  • Scaffolds must be capable of supporting its own weight and at least 4x the expected load.

  • Expected load includes:

      • Workers
      • Equipment
      • Tools
      • Materials


Scaffold Capacity = Expected Load x 4

  • Scaffold Capacity = Expected Load x 4

  • 400 lbs of Workers

  • 100 lbs of Tools

  • + 100 lbs of Materials

  • 600 lbs x 4 = 2,400 lbs









Each platform on all working levels must be fully planked and secured to prevent movement.

  • Each platform on all working levels must be fully planked and secured to prevent movement.

  • No more than a 1” space between decking/platform units and upright supports.

  • Wood scaffold planks must be nominal 2” x 10”.

  • Must be Scaffold Grade Planks or equivalent.







Do NOT use objects (ladders, boxes, barrels, etc.) on top of scaffold platforms to increase height

  • Do NOT use objects (ladders, boxes, barrels, etc.) on top of scaffold platforms to increase height

  • Planks Extend 6” Past Supports or Secured

  • Do NOT Paint Platforms

    • Exception: Platform edges may be covered or marked for identification
  • Brace Fully











Designated competent person:

  • Designated competent person:

  • Designated by the employer.

  • Has the knowledge and experience required to identify existing and predictable hazards.

  • Has authority to eliminate unsafe working conditions.

  • Has authority to stop work if unsafe conditions exists.



Train employees who erect, dismantle, move, or alter scaffolds.

  • Train employees who erect, dismantle, move, or alter scaffolds.

  • Determine if it is safe for employees to work on or from a scaffold during storms or high winds.

  • Inspect scaffolds and scaffold components for visible defects before each work shift.



Ladders Needed if Access More Than 2’

  • Ladders Needed if Access More Than 2’

  • Don’t Climb Cross Braces

  • Place Ladders Securely

    • Ladders must be positioned so they will not tip the scaffold


Access to or from another surface (such as a window) can only be used when the scaffold is:

  • Access to or from another surface (such as a window) can only be used when the scaffold is:

    • No more than 14” horizontally, and
    • No more than 24” vertically from the other surface


Must be secured to prevent displacement.

  • Must be secured to prevent displacement.

  • Extend at least 3’ above landing to provide a handhold.







Scaffolding 10’ or higher must have some means of fall protection:

  • Scaffolding 10’ or higher must have some means of fall protection:

    • guardrails or
    • personal fall arrest system (PFAS)
  • Toprails installed between 38” and 45” High.

  • Midrails installed halfway between toprail and platform.

      • Cross bracing OK as guardrails if the center point is between 20” to 30” for Midrail and 38” to 45” for Toprail.
  • Toprails to 200 lbs. of force/Midrails to 150 lbs. of force in any direction.



Erecting and Dismantling:

  • Erecting and Dismantling:

    • Fall protection should be used when feasible and when it does not create a greater hazard
    • Competent person determines the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection


Anyone working on or around a scaffold must wear a hard hat.

  • Anyone working on or around a scaffold must wear a hard hat.

  • Workers on or below scaffolds must be protected from falling objects by:

      • Toeboards
      • Mesh
      • Screens; or
      • Equivalent measures






All employees must be trained prior to working on scaffolds.

  • All employees must be trained prior to working on scaffolds.

  • Qualified person must conduct the training and include the following:

    • Electrical Hazards
    • Fall Protection
    • Falling Object Protection
    • Proper Use
    • Material Handling
    • Load-carrying Capacities




Fabricated Frame Scaffold

  • Fabricated Frame Scaffold

  • Pump Jack Scaffold

  • Ladder Jack Scaffold

  • Trestle & Horse Scaffold

  • Mobile Scaffold





  • Have guardrails installed.



  • Use Cross bracing.



  • Use of uplift pins.



Supported scaffolds with a height to base width (including outrigger supports, if used) ratio of more than four to one (4:1) must be restrained from tipping by:

  • Supported scaffolds with a height to base width (including outrigger supports, if used) ratio of more than four to one (4:1) must be restrained from tipping by:

    • Guying,
    • Tying,
    • Bracing, or
    • Equivalent means




  • Brackets, braces must be made of metal and installed as per manufacturer specifications.



  • Must have guardrails (including end rails), or personal fall arrest system (PFAS), when working at heights above 10‘.



  • Keep working surface free from debris.



When using wood poles the lumber must be:

  • When using wood poles the lumber must be:

  • Wood poles built of two continuous lengths must have seams parallel.

  • Mending plates must be used when 2x4’s are splice together.





  • Platform cannot exceed a height of 20’ or be bridged together.



  • Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) must be used for work at heights greater than 10’.



  • Ladders must be placed, fastened or equipped with devices to prevent slipping.





Scaffold platforms shall not be used above the second to top rung.

  • Scaffold platforms shall not be used above the second to top rung.

  • Job built ladders cannot be used in a trestle scaffold system.

  • Ladders must be secured to prevent displacement.



Not erected more than 10’ in height or arranged more than two tiers.

  • Not erected more than 10’ in height or arranged more than two tiers.

  • When stacked one horse must be directly over the other horse and each cross braced.

  • Legs must be nailed down or secured.



Do Not move while occupied unless specifically designed for such movement.

  • Do Not move while occupied unless specifically designed for such movement.

  • Before moving inspect for pits, holes, or obstructions on the floor.

  • Push the base On or Near the bottom when moving.



  • Caster wheels must be locked to prevent movement of the scaffold when stationary.



Scaffold bracket must be constructed to form to pitch of roof and create a level work surface.

  • Scaffold bracket must be constructed to form to pitch of roof and create a level work surface.

  • Brackets must be nailed into place.

  • When brackets cannot be nailed into place, ¾” manila rope should be used to secure in place.

  • Must use personal fall arrest system.





  • Must hook over and be supported on top plate of wall structure.



  • Wall structure must be braced to hold at least 4 times the intended load.



  • Must follow manufactures specification on particulars of using the different styles.





  • ONLY trained and authorized personnel should operate aerial lifts.



  • Wear a full body harness and attach the lanyard to the boom or an approved anchor point inside the basket and NEVER tie to the adjacent structure.



  • Aerial lifts CANNOT be moved while the bucket is occupied.



  • Stand on the floor of the basket, NEVER step on rails or outside the basket.



  • Do NOT Exceed Load Limits.





  • Work platforms can ONLY be used if the machine supporting the personnel platform was designed for such use.



  • ONLY trained and authorized personnel are allowed to operate forklifts.



  • Use ONLY commercially built personnel baskets designed for lifting workers that meet ANSI requirements.

  • Homemade boxes lifted by forklifts are NOT acceptable.



  • Entire platform must be attached to the lifting carriage and/or forks.



  • Forklifts CANNOT be moved horizontally while the platform is occupied.



  • Wear a full body harness and attach the lanyard to the boom or an approved anchor point inside the basket and NEVER tie to the adjacent structure.



  • Section 4: Group Workshop



Students will review a series of photographs of ladders and scaffolds in use on a jobsite. The assignment is to identify the hazards in each photo and discuss the corrective action required to correct the hazard. (Note: Some of the photos are of correct safe work practices.) You Play OSHA!

  • Students will review a series of photographs of ladders and scaffolds in use on a jobsite. The assignment is to identify the hazards in each photo and discuss the corrective action required to correct the hazard. (Note: Some of the photos are of correct safe work practices.) You Play OSHA!






























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