Trainer Requirements for Performing Work On Scaffolds

The employer can designate someone to train employees on the safe use of scaffolding in their work area.  OSHA 29 CFR 1926.454 says that:

"The employer shall have each employee who performs work on a scaffold trained by a person qualified in the subject matter to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffolding being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize these hazards."

 So employees who perform work on scaffolds must be trained by someone qualified in the subject matter.  While this is a bit subjective, OSHA defines a "qualified person" as:

"One who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems related to the subject matter, the work, or the project"

 If you have an employee who meets the above criteria, based on your evaluation, you can designate them to train employees to use scaffolding.

Types of Scaffolding

Trainer Requirements for Scaffold Erection, Maintenance, Repair, or Inspection

Any employees who are involved in erection, removal, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining or inspecting must be trained by a competent person, according to 1926.454(b).  OSHA defines a competent person as:

"Capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them."

 So if you have an employee that meets that definition, they can train other employees on this operation.

Do Scaffold Workers Need a "Certification"?

Scaffold workers do not need any type of documented certification, although training documentation is always good practice.  The compliance directorate for Subpart L says that:

"Section 1926.454 does not require certification, or other documentation, of training. Compliance officers shall evaluate compliance with the training requirements through observation of work practices, inspections of rigging, correct utilization of scaffold equipment, and interviews with employees and management representatives."


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