Who Is Responsible for Inspecting the Scaffold and Its Components Before Every Work Shift?

Do you really want to know that, “Who Is Responsible for Inspecting the Scaffold and Its Components Before Every Work Shift?”

In this blog we will discuss everything about OSHA scaffold inspection requirements and will understand “Who Is Responsible for Inspecting the Scaffold and Its Components Before Every Work Shift?”


In the world of safety and health, a “scaffold competent person” is responsible for the well-being of employees and workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a competent person is “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them” (29 CFR 1926.450). 

OSHA’s regulatory standards, developed across industries, frequently refer to “the duties of a competent person” and assign specific responsibilities. While these responsibilities may differ, the underlying role of a competent person is to protect employees’ health and safety on the job by developing and implementing appropriate safety and health processes and plans as needed. 

Who Is Authorized To Inspect A Scaffold?

Only a competent person is authorized to inspect a scaffold, according to regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US. Scaffold inspections can be done by someone who has special training and knows a lot about scaffolds. This person should understand how scaffolds are supposed to be set up safely and be able to spot any problems or dangers. They usually have a certificate that proves they know how to check scaffolds correctly. This ensures that the scaffold is safe for people to use.

Role of the Competent Person for Scaffolding Operations

Role of the Competent Person for Scaffolding Operations


OSHA’s 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L – Scaffolds Standard specifies the responsibilities of a competent person. According to this standard, a competent person is accountable for:

  • Choosing and directing workers who erect, dismantle, move, modify, and inspect scaffolds.
  • Employees who work on scaffolding should be trained to recognize the hazards associated with tasks like erecting, dismantling, moving, adjusting, and inspecting scaffolds.
  • Determine the safety of employees working on scaffolds in inclement weather, such as strong winds, storms, or heavy snowfall.
  • Ensure that employees working on scaffolding have access to a personal fall arrest system or wind screens during inclement weather.
  • Ensure that the scaffolds’ structural integrity is maintained when components from different manufacturers are combined.
  • Determining whether galvanic action has affected scaffold capacity when different metal components are used together.

A competent person is also responsible for periodically inspecting scaffolds and scaffold components for visible defects. Such inspections must be primarily conducted:

  • Before each work shift, 
  • Following any incident that may have had an impact on the scaffold’s reliability or structural integrity. 

In the event, damage or destruction of scaffolds occurs, a competent person must be given the authority to take any and all necessary corrective actions.

Worker Training When Working in and around Scaffolds

Worker training when working in and around scaffolds is crucial for ensuring safety on construction sites. Here are some key aspects that should be covered in such training:

  1. Scaffold Inspection: Workers should be trained to inspect scaffolds before each use. This includes checking for stability, proper assembly, secure connections, and any signs of damage or defects.
  2. Assembly and Disassembly: Proper techniques for assembling and disassembling scaffolds should be taught to workers to prevent accidents caused by incorrect setup or dismantling.
  3. Fall Protection: Workers must be trained on the proper use of fall protection equipment such as harnesses, lanyards, and guardrails when working on or near scaffolds at heights.
  4. Load Capacities: Understanding the load capacities of scaffolds is essential to prevent overloading, which can lead to collapse. Workers should be trained to recognize and adhere to these limits.
  5. Safe Access and Egress: Workers should know how to safely access and exit scaffolds using designated access points and stairways/ladders.
  6. Tool and Material Handling: Proper procedures for transporting tools and materials on scaffolds should be taught to prevent items from falling and causing injuries to workers below.
  7. Electrical Safety: Workers should be aware of electrical hazards and how to safely work with electrical tools and equipment while on or near scaffolds.
  8. Weather Conditions: Training should cover the precautions to take during adverse weather conditions such as high winds, rain, or snow, which can affect scaffold stability.
  9. Emergency Procedures: Workers should be familiar with emergency procedures such as how to respond to scaffold collapses, falls, or other accidents.
  10. Communication: Clear communication among workers regarding scaffold activities, movement of materials, and potential hazards is essential for maintaining safety.

Regular refresher training sessions should also be conducted to reinforce these safety practices and ensure that workers stay updated on any changes in regulations or best practices. Additionally, workers should receive certification or documentation of their scaffold training to demonstrate their competence in working safely in and around scaffolds.

What are OSHA Scaffold Inspection Requirements?

They have strict osha scaffold inspection requirements for inspecting scaffolds to ensure worker safety. Here’s a summary of the key points:


  • Before each work shift: A “competent person” must visually inspect the scaffold and its components for visible defects.
  • After any event: The scaffold must be re-inspected if anything happens that could affect its structural integrity, such as high winds, heavy weight loads, or damage.

Who can inspect?

  • A “competent person” is someone who can identify and address scaffold hazards. They should have training and experience in scaffold safety and construction practices.
  • The person who built the scaffold isn’t necessarily required to do the inspection.
  • For large scaffolds, only the areas workers will use during the next shift need inspection.

What to Inspect?

  • All components of the scaffold, including platforms, guardrails, braces, connectors, and base supports.
  • Look for visible signs of damage, wear, cracks, loose connections, or anything else that could compromise the scaffold’s strength or stability.
  • Check for proper assembly and ensure everything is level and plumb.

Additional Requirements:

  • Scaffolds must not be overloaded.
  • Use fall protection (like guardrails and personal fall arrest systems) as required.
  • Platforms must be fully planked and have proper guardrails, midrails, and toe boards.
  • Keep platforms clean and free of debris to prevent slips and falls.

So the Answer Lies Here:

Who Is Responsible for Inspecting the Scaffold and Its Components Before Every Work Shift?

Before every work shift, a trained and qualified person chosen by the employer must check the scaffold and its parts for any damage or problems. This is to make sure it’s safe to use. If they find any issues, the scaffold can’t be used until it’s fixed and safe again. This is a rule to keep workers safe.

A qualified inspector must check the scaffold and all its parts for any visible issues before each work shift and after any event that could weaken the scaffold. This includes examining the base, supports, platforms, guardrails, access points, and anchorage among other components. If any problems are detected, the scaffold cannot be used until it is confirmed to be safe.


OSHA scaffold inspection requirements mandate a competent person to inspect scaffolds, possessing knowledge, training, and experience to identify hazards and ensure safety protocols. Adhering to these standards protects workers’ well-being and reduces construction site accidents or injuries. These standards mandate that the inspection of scaffolds should be carried out by a competent person designated by the employer. This individual must possess the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to identify hazards and ensure compliance with safety protocols

About AAIT

AAIT takes pride in being recognized as one of the premier scaffold companies committed to offering personalized customer care to all our clients. As a prominent Scaffolding Equipment Company in the USA, we take pride in catering to clients nationwide. AAIT understands the significance of ensuring accessibility to scaffolding equipment. Our strategic warehousing and logistical capabilities contribute to shortened lead times, ensuring that your organization receives the necessary scaffolding equipment precisely when it is required.

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