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Definition A scaffold is a temporary structure, usually made of metal tubing, which provides support for workers and materials used in construction, maintenance, repair and demolition work. Scaffolds are either fixed or they can be disassembled. Some scaffolds have castors or wheels that give them mobility. Hazards The most common hazard associated with scaffolds is that of falling; either the worker may fall from the scaffold or the scaffold may collapse and fall, injuring the worker and others in the area. Controls To prevent falling accidents, ensure that the following controls are in place. Construction If the scaffold is made up of separate sections of frames, these must be pinned together to prevent separation The frames must have horizontal and vertical bracing to prevent rocking or twisting The castors must be pinned to the frame There must be a braking device in each castor (see Figure 1) If the platform is made of planks, the planks must be cleated to prevent slippage The platform must have handrails, midrails and toe boards Outriggers and/or guy wires must be available for use, where necessary The working height of the scaffold must not exceed three times its least lateral dimension (measured at the base) unless it is guyed and stabilized by outriggers Figure 1 – A rolling scaffold SCAFFOLDS WSPS.CA

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