Scaffold Safety Protocols for a Commercial Building Project

Scaffold Safety Protocols for a Commercial Building Project

Many commercial property rehabilitation, renovation, and remodeling projects require the use of scaffolding. On the one hand, scaffolding represents one of the most widely used pieces of equipment in commercial construction projects. On the other hand, a considerable number of business owners, and associated contractors, neglect to implement suitable safety protocols when it comes to using scaffolding on a commercial building project of some type.

There are some very definite safety standards and protocols that must be followed when it comes to using scaffolding on a commercial building rehabilitation, renovation, or remodeling project. For additional information on the safety protocols discussed here, a business owner or contractor can access resources via the website maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.

Proper Scaffold Assembly

One of the most common types of accident associated with scaffolding involves the failure of planks or support structures. More often than not, these injury-causing scaffolding failures occur because the scaffold was not properly assembled in the first instance.

More than a few business owners, and a surprising number of less experienced contractors, presume that assembling a scaffold is a minor task. In fact, by its very nature, a scaffold consists of numerous pieces and parts. The failure to properly connect even a seemingly minor component of a scaffold can have dire consequences in the form of planking, or a similar type of, failure.

Scaffold assembly should not be something either a business owner or contract should garner experience through “on the job training.” Rather, in the absence of specific scaffold assembly training, and prior experience, a business owner best ensures appropriate safety standards through the use of scaffolding by outsourcing assembly.

Securing Sides and Edges

Another common danger zone potentially associated with scaffolding is unprotected sides and edges. Time and again, those involved in a commercial construction endeavor of some nature intentionally limit suitable guards and railings designed to secure and protect the sides and edges of scaffolding. The primary rationale for minimizing this type of side and edge securement is because of the belief that it interferes with efficient completion of tasks associated with the placement of the scaffolding in the first instance.

The failure to utilize appropriate securement associated with sides and edges jeopardizes the safety and wellbeing of workers. Beyond scaffold plank failure, falls represent another of the common types of accidents associated with scaffolding at commercial construction sites.

In addition, improperly secured sides and edges presents a hazard to third parties as well. The lack of suitable side and edge securement enhances the risk that equipment and materials will fall from a scaffold and injure a third party. The risk particularly can be significant when scaffolding is part of a remodeling or renovation project at a commercial property, a business in operation during the project. Customers or clients entering and exiting the premises are put at risk when scaffold sides and edges are not properly secured.

Proper Scaffold Use Training

In addition to ensuring that the physical securement and safety needs of scaffolding fully is satisfied, anyone involved a commercial building project necessitating the utilization of a scaffold must be thoroughly trained. Training must not be undertaken in a haphazard manner. Rather, a business owner or contractor should access a professional training course or protocol. For example, scaffolding use and safety training materials and resources are available via OSHA, at no charge.

Appropriate Liability Insurance

When scaffolding will be utilized on a commercial building project of some type, both the owner and contractor need to make certain that appropriate liability insurance is in place. The owner of a business or commercial property cannot slough off the necessity of maintaining suitable liability insurance that covers the utilization of and risks presented by the use of scaffolding. The legal reality is that the business or commercial property owner could be determined to share responsibility for losses, damages, or injuries sustained as the result of some sort of scaffolding mishap, even when a contractor is undertaken the actual work on a project.

Before commencing any type of project at a commercial building, the property or business owner should consult with an insurance professional. Typically, a commercial property or business owner will already have a connection with an insurance agent or broker that can examine existing coverages to ensure that proper protection is in place. If some sort of policy adjustment must be made to cover the utilization of scaffolding on the premises, the associated cost is far less than what a commercial property or business owner would face in the event of a scaffold accident without suitable coverage.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.


My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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