To Our Frontline Workers:
You are the greatest hero in this story. Your intelligence, bravery, and compassion are the saving grace of this nation during this pandemic.
Thank You for your service to humanity. We are so grateful for all of you.
Basic Scaffold Safety
The Role of the Competent Person for Scaffolding
While most scaffolding is designed for ease of erection and use, there are still many hazards
associated with scaffolding that can result in someone getting injured or even killed. Because of the various hazards associated with scaffolding, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also called OSHA, requires employers to designate someone at every work site where scaffolding is used by their employees to perform critical functions to help ensure the safety of those employees who work on and around the scaffolding. And the person responsible for doing this is known as the “Competent Person”.
Here is an overview of a few of the major duties performed by the Competent Person at a job site where scaffolding is being utilized:
The Competent Person is responsible for overseeing the erection of all scaffolding to ensure
it is set up as designed per the scaffold manufacturer instructions. Conversely, the Competent
Person must also oversee the disassembly of scaffolding, as well as the movement of any
scaffolding, to ensure these activities are done safely.
The Competent Person must also inspect scaffolding as soon as it has been erected, as well as
before first use on each shift, to identify any hazards that need to be corrected before
employee use. And additional inspections by the Competent Person must be performed after
any hazard increasing occurrence.
The Competent Person will also make sure that any powered scaffolding system is
functioning and operated safely per the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Competent Person must ensure scaffolding is maintained as required per the
manufacturer, and to oversee any modifications, alterations, or repairs to the scaffolding that
may become necessary while it is in use.
The Competent Person must make sure scaffolding in use is capable of supporting the loads
to which it is subjected, and to see that it does not become overloaded during use.
And last but certainly not least, The Competent Person must have the authority from his or
her employer to remove or prevent workers from using any scaffolding found to be unsafe
until the hazard has been corrected, repaired, or the scaffolding is removed from service.
However, the Competent Person cannot be present everywhere on the jobsite, nor can they see
everything that is going on. That is why the next several toolbox talks will be dedicated to educating us on some basic Federal OSHA regulations pertaining to scaffold design and use, so we can be better prepared to identify some of the most common hazards to watch for when we work with scaffolding. And when you do see a potential problem, be sure to take steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others, and then inform the Competent Person or your supervisor of what you’ve seen.