April 21, 2014


  1. Asmatulu, F. Plummer and G. Miller Wichita State University

    Department of Environmental Safety and Health Wichita, KS 67260

    Safety and Environmental considerations are important part of our daily lives, not only for our individual protection, but for the protection of others and the environment as well. In order to maintain a high level of knowledge and responsiveness, each employee and faculty member is issued a copy of this manual. This safety manual is the guiding document of the University Safety Program. Each employee, student and faculty member is responsible for following/obeying to the rules included herein. Student workers are especially subject to accidents and environmental mistakes, and must be trained and guided by knowledgeable faculty and staff. Questions about the content of the manual should be directed to your supervisor or Environmental Health and Safety representatives.

    This informational booklet is proposed to provide a general overview of a particular safety related topic. This publication does not itself alter compliance responsibilities, which are set forth in OSHA standards themselves, Department of Environmental Health and Safety at Wichita State University.


    Table of Contents


    Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents 3


      1. Ladder Selection 5

      2. Ladder Inspection 5

      3. Ladder Setup 6

      4. Climbing-Descending 6

      5. Ladder Maintenance 6


      1. Responsibilities 7

      2. Types of Scaffolds 7

        1. Self-supporting scaffolds 7

        2. Suspension scaffolds 8

        3. Special use scaffolds 9

      3. Why Is Scaffold Safety Important? 10

      4. Scaffolds Fall Protection 10

      5. Scaffold Capacity 11

      6. Safety Requirements for Scaffolds 11

        1. Sound Design 11

        2. Selecting the Right Scaffold for the Job 11

        3. Assigning Personnel 12

        4. Training 12

        5. Safety Requirements for Scaffolds (Fall Protection, Proper Erection & Use) 12

        6. Guidelines for Alteration and Dismantling 14

        7. Inspections 14

        8. Maintenance and Storage 14


      1. Guardrail Systems 15

      2. Personal Fall Arrest Systems 16

        1. Calculating Fall Clearance 18

      3. Positioning Device Systems 18

      4. Safety Monitoring Systems 18

    1. Covers 20

    2. Protection From Falling Objects 20

    3. Training 21



According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), each year, on average, between 150 and 200 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured as a result of falls at construction sites.

  • Where protection is required, select fall protection systems appropriate for given situations.

  • Use proper construction and installation of safety systems.

  • Supervise employees properly.

  • Use safe work procedures.

  • Train workers in the proper selection, use, and maintenance of all protection systems.

    This manual will improve;

  • The understanding of fall hazards

  • The understanding of fall prevention strategies

  • Knowledge, skills, and ability to avoid fall hazards and fall-related losses

    Layer of Protection


    Fall Hazard Elimination/Reduction Strategies

  • Eliminating the hazards through engineering design/practice

  • Installing fall protection systems

  • Providing personal protective equipment

  • Training personnel in hazard recognition and avoidance

    Engineering Controls

  • Follow all applicable laws/regulations (CFR 29, 1926: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction)

  • Evaluate alternative equipment, alternative methods

  • Conduct Job Safety Analysis(JSA)/design jobs to avoid hazards

  • Evaluate maintenance, housekeeping needs, and develop policies, procedures

  • Develop written procedures (plans, protocols, checklists) for JSA, inspections, maintenance, communication, etc.

  • Develop and implement training for each job/each equipment procedure

Common Types of Fall Environments

  1. Falls from ladders

  2. Falls from scaffolding

  3. Falls from or out of buildings

  4. Other falls from one level to another (e.g., falls from stationary vehicles and falls from trees)

  5. Other and unspecified falls. Examples of common elevated working environments.


    Most Common Reasons of Ladder Accidents

    • Wrong ladder used

    • Ladder in poor condition

    • Ladder used improperly Accident Statistic


According to Bureau of Labor Statistics study of 1,400 ladder accidents back up NIOSH’s classification:

Statistic of Accidents







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  1. Ladder Selection

    • A ladder must be the right height for the job so that you don't have to overreach.

    • A ladder must have the capacity to support the weight that will be on it. Remember that the total weight a ladder has to support is your weight plus the weight of any tools and materials you use while working on the ladder.

      Weight rating system:

    • I-A means the ladder can hold a maximum weight of 300 pounds

    • I means a maximum weight of 250 pounds

    • II means a maximum weight of 225 pounds

    • III means a maximum weight of 200 pounds No metal ladders around:

    • Electricity: Check for metal parts and never use a ladder that is wet around electricity.

    • Corrosives: Aluminum, steel, and acids are not compatible, so never use a metal ladder around corrosives.

    • Flammables: Do not use metal ladders around flammables—the ladder could potentially cause a spark that could ignite around flammables.

  2. Ladder Inspection

    All ladders should be inspected before each use.

    Check to ensure that:

    • Steps are in good repair and free of mud, grease, oil or sticky substances

    • Side rails have no cracks or splits

    • Metal parts are lubricated

    • Rope is not worn

    • Spreaders or other locking devices are in place and working properly

    • Splinters or sharp edges have been filed down

    • Safety feet are solid and in place

    • Metal ladders are free of dents and bent parts

    • You should also inspect ladders following any tip overs or possible damage to a ladder that has been struck by something, hit something, or been dropped

    Don't use and try to repair defective ladder!

  3. Ladder Setup

    • 4-to-1 rule: Place the base of the ladder 1 foot from the wall for every 4 feet between the base and the support point. For instance, if it is 8 feet from the base of a ladder to its support point, the base of the ladder should be 2 feet away from the building.

    • Support point: Extend extension ladders at least 3 feet above a support point such as the edge of a roof.

    • Overlap: Ensure that the upper section of an extension ladder overlaps and rests on the bottom section. The overlap should always be on the climbing side of the ladder. For ladders of 36 feet or more, the overlap should be least 3 feet.

    • Secured: Secure ladders at the top and bottom.

  4. Climbing-Descending

    • Never climb a ladder if you are very tired, feeling ill, on medication that affects alertness or balance, or if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs.

    • Never slide down a ladder: Descend safely, lowering one foot at a time and holding on to the side rails with both hands.

    • Carry tools on a belt or shoulder strap

    • Don't climb higher than the fourth rung from the top on a straight or extension ladder, or the second step from the top on a stepladder.

    • Face the ladder when you go up or down, holding on to the side rails with both hands as you climb.

    • One person at a time: Allow only one person on a ladder at a time.

    • Check your shoes: Check your shoes before you climb, and wipe off wet, muddy, or greasy soles.

  5. Ladder Maintenance

Routine ladder maintenance should include:

  1. Check joints

  2. Test hardware and fittings

  3. Lubricate moveable parts

  4. Replace worn rope on extension ladders

  5. Make sure safety feet are in good condition

  6. Clean rungs and steps


    Scaffolds: A temporary elevated platform and its supporting structure used for supporting workmen, materials, or both in the construction or repair of buildings and other large structures.

    1. Responsibilities Managers

      Managers will ensure adequate funds are available and budgeted for the purchase of equipment in their areas. They will also identify the employees affected by this safety policy and procedure. Managers will obtain and coordinate the required training for the affected employees. Managers will also ensure compliance with this safety policy and procedure through their auditing process.


      Supervisors will not allow any employee who has not received the required training to perform any of the tasks or activities. Supervisors will communicate appropriate needs to managers and/or supervisors. Supervisors will ensure that employees are provided with PPE as necessary for their job. Supervisors will ensure that a competent person is in charge of scaffold erection according to the manufacturer's specifications.

      Competent Person

      The competent person will oversee the scaffold selection, erection, use, movement, alteration, dismantling, maintenance, and inspection. The competent person will be knowledgeable about proper selection, care, and use of the fall protection equipment. Additionally, the competent person shall assess hazards.


      Employees shall comply with all applicable guidelines contained in this safety policy and procedure. Employees will report damaged scaffolds, accessories, and missing or lost components. Employees will assist with inspections as requested.

      Safety Department

      Safety and Loss Control will provide prompt assistance to managers/unit heads, supervisors, or others as necessary on any matter concerning this safety policy and procedure. Safety and Loss Control will assist in developing or securing required training. Safety and Loss Control will also work with Purchasing and Central Equipment Unit to ensure that all newly purchased scaffolds comply with current safety regulations and this safety policy and procedure. Safety Engineers will provide consultative and audit assistance to ensure effective implementation of this safety policy and procedure.

    2. Types of Scaffolds

      1. Self-supporting scaffolds are one or more working platforms supported from below by outriggers, brackets, poles, legs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar supports. The types of self- supporting scaffolds include: Fabricated Frame, Tube and Coupler, Mobile, Pole



        Figure 2.1:Self-supporting scaffold

      2. Suspension scaffolds are one or more working platforms suspended by ropes or other means from overhead structures(s). The types of suspension scaffolds include: Single-Point Adjustable (Boatswain’s Chairs), Two-Point Adjustable (Swing Stage), Multiple-Point Adjustable, Multi-Lend, Category, Float (Ship), Interior Hung, Needle Beam.


        Figure 2.2: Suspension scaffold

      3. Special use scaffolds and assemblies are capable of supporting their own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load. The types of special use scaffolds include: Form and Carpenter Bracket, Roof Bracket, Outrigger, Pump Jack, Ladder Jack, Window Jack, Horse, Crawling Boards, Step, Platforms, and Trestle Ladder



        Figure 2.3: Carpenters bracket scaffold

        1. Why Is Scaffold Safety Important?

          Bureau of Labor Statistics studies showed that 25 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents had received no scaffold safety training, and 77 percent of scaffolds were not equipped with guardrails.

          OSHA estimates that informed employers and workers, in compliance with correct safety standards, can save as many as 50 lives and prevent 4,500 accidents every year.

          Common Hazards Associated with All Scaffolds

          • Falls from elevation, due to lack of fall protection

          • Collapse of the scaffold, caused by instability or overloading

          • Being struck by falling tools, work materials, or debris

          • Electrocution, principally due to proximity of the scaffold to overhead power lines.

        2. Scaffolds 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:

            • 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.

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

            • Toeboards

            • Mesh

            • Screens

            • Equivalent measures

        3. Scaffold Capacity

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

          • Expected load includes:

            • Workers