Scaffold safety



General description

Scaffolds are used by campus employees for a variety of applications. In a Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) study, 72% of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these can be controlled by following your scaffold safety rules.


General regulatory citations (federal and Wisconsin)

Public employees in Wisconsin are covered by reference through various OSHA scaffold standards adopted for public employee safety (see Wisconsin Administrative Code, SPS 332.50). The rules in title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) most likely to apply to campus employees would be:

  • 1910.28, Safety requirements for scaffolding
  • 1910.29, Manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds (towers)
  • 1926 Subpart L -- Scaffolds


Employee training

A list of training topics for employees who work on scaffolds:

  • The scope of the rules
  • Common scaffolding terms
  • The training requirements for employees
  • Electrical safety
  • Fall protection
  • Guardrail systems
  • Falling object protection
  • Load capacities
  • Proper materials handling
  • Inspection requirements
  • Damaged components
  • Safe access to scaffold platforms
  • Hazards of increasing the working heights on a scaffold platform
  • Moving scaffolds
  • Erecting and dismantling scaffolds


Training resources

Here are some examples to help you create or enhance your campus training material.

UW-Milwaukee - PowerPoint training and web page. Note that their training includes safety and instructions for the particular scaffold equipment in use on their campus.


References and other resources

The OSHA web page on scaffold safety includes links to the regulatory standards, frequently asked questions, directives and standards interpretations.

OSHA provides a very good online training tool for what you need to know about scaffold safety

A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry: OSHA publication 3150 [pdf format] [html format]


Page last saved: 10/15/2013


This publication was prepared for environmental, health and safety staff at University of Wisconsin System campuses, to assist in finding resources and information for regulatory compliance. It is not intended to render legal advice.
(Read full legal disclaimer.)