This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk discusses general scaffold-use safety. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).




Scaffold-Use Safety

Every day, workers fall when working on scaffolds, often resulting in either fatalities or permanent injuries. These tragedies are sometimes caused by faulty design or poor construction, but in most cases, the cause is preventable: poor scaffold maintenance or improper use are the most common causes.

Quick Reminders and Tips for Safe Scaffold-Use


  • Check that the scaffold has adequate weight capacity for the job.
  • Inspect scaffolds for safety compliance before use.
  • Look for electrical hazards before setting up a scaffold.
  • Place scaffolds close to the work area.
  • Place scaffolds on firm, level surfaces.
  • Make sure work platforms are in good condition and clean.
  • Use guardrails and personal fall protection equipment.
  • Fully plank work platforms, using scaffold rated planking.
  • Secure planking so that they don’t move.
  • Anchor scaffolds built higher than 4 widths.
  • Provide adequate access to the working levels.
  • Bring tools to the working level by raising them by rope.
  • Replace broken parts immediately.
  • Consider and protect people working or walking by below. Tether tools to prevent falling objects.


  • Overload the scaffold.
  • Use scaffolds near electrical hazards.
  • Use broken parts or planking.
  • Mix incompatible brands of scaffolds.
  • Build the scaffold too high without adequate lateral support.
  • Use unstable objects to support the scaffold base.
  • Climb on cross bracing.
  • Move a scaffold while occupied.
  • Use scaffolds during storms or high winds.

When in doubt, STOP and ASK before getting onto a scaffold.


The fall you will survive is the fall you don’t have!


Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!