A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ORDERS
Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 21, Section 1637 and Article 23, Section 1658

Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry
INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS


INFORMATIVE DIGEST OF PROPOSED ACTION/PLAIN ENGLISH OVERVIEW

Section 1637. General Requirements.

This section contains regulations addressing the use, construction, design, erection and dismantling of scaffolds. More specifically, these regulations include, but are not limited to, topics regarding access, anchorage and bracing, loading, prohibited scaffold types, slippery conditions, sloped platforms, etc.

A new subsection (u) is proposed to prohibit work on scaffolds during inclement weather unless a qualified person has determined that it is safe to do so and the employees are provided with a personal fall arrest system or windscreens. The proposed subsection (u) will also require that the scaffold be secured from movement when windscreens are used.

The new subsection will require employers to select a qualified person to make the determination as to whether or not it is safe for employees to work on a scaffold during periods of inclement weather (high winds, storms, etc.). Once it has been determined that it is safe for employees to be on the scaffold, the employer must provide personal fall arrest protection or windscreens to those employees working from the scaffold. If windscreens are used, the employer must also ensure that the scaffold is secured against any anticipated wind forces imposed on the scaffold.

A new subsection (v) is proposed to prohibit wood platforms to be covered with opaque finishes except for identifying marks placed on the edges of the platforms. The proposed subsection (v) will permit the use of wood preservatives or the application of fire-retardant coatings and slip-resistant finishes, provided they do not obscure the top and bottom surfaces of the platform planking.

The proposed subsection (v) will require employers to modify work practices to the extent necessary to ensure that prohibited coatings are not applied to, and/or will be removed from, scaffold platforms which could conceal any defects such as cracks.

 

Section 1658. Suspended Scaffolds.

Section 1658 contains various requirements pertaining to the use of suspended scaffolds in construction operations. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the use of hoisting machines/equipment, hanging scaffolds to minimize swaying, scaffold design, the use of ladders, supporting ropes and outrigger beams, scaffold inspection, etc.

Existing subsection (e) requires that all ropes supporting suspended scaffolds possess a safety factor of 6 and are to be inspected on each job prior to use to determine whether they are safe for use.

A revision is proposed to prohibit the use of repaired wire rope as a suspension rope.

The proposed revision will require employers to modify inspection procedures of suspension ropes to ensure that repaired wire rope is not used to support a scaffold.

A new subsection (v) is proposed that will prohibit the use of gasoline-powered equipment on suspended scaffolds.

The proposed subsection (v) will require employers to amend existing work practices so as to exclude the use of gasoline-powered equipment on suspended scaffolds and switch to equipment that is powered by other energy sources such as electric, pneumatic, manual, etc.

A new subsection (w) is proposed that will prohibit the use of an emergency escape/rescue device as a working platform unless it is specifically designed to serve as both. The proposed subsection clarifies to the employer that scaffold systems designed to function as both a working platform and an emergency system are not precluded from use.

The proposed subsection (w) will require employers to modify existing work practices and/or procedures to prohibit the use of emergency rescue equipment as a working platform unless the manufacturer has designed the emergency equipment to serve both purposes.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.