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BASIC OF SCAFFOLDING

Understanding the Role and Importance of Scaffolding in Construction

  • Writer's pictureDania Farysha Ameena

OSHA Regulations for Scaffolding in Malaysia

Index


A construction supervisor discussing OSHA regulations for scaffolding safety with workers on a job site in Malaysia.

Introduction

Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support workers and materials during construction, maintenance, and repair work. It provides a platform for workers to perform tasks at heights that are out of reach. Scaffolding is used in various industries, including construction, painting, and maintenance.


However, using scaffolding can be dangerous if not done correctly. Accidents can occur due to falls, collapses, or faulty equipment. To ensure worker safety, DOSH has established regulations for scaffolding in Malaysia.


Types of Scaffolding

There are three main types of scaffolding:


A close-up of a scaffold platform with safety guardrails, in accordance with OSHA regulations in Malaysia.

1. Supported scaffolding: This is the most common type of scaffolding and consists of a platform supported by rigid, load-bearing members. The platform is usually attached to the building or structure being worked on.


2. Suspended scaffolding: This type of scaffolding is suspended from overhead supports, such as ropes or chains. It is commonly used for window washing or maintenance work.


3. Aerial lifts: Aerial lifts are used to lift workers and materials to elevated work areas. They are commonly used in construction and maintenance projects.



General Requirements for Scaffolding

DOSH has established general requirements for scaffolding to ensure worker safety in Malaysia. These requirements include:


1. Design requirements: Scaffolding must be designed by a registered professional engineer and must be able to support at least four times the intended load.


2. Load requirements: Scaffolding must be able to support the weight of workers, equipment, and materials without collapsing.


3. Access requirements: Workers must have safe access to scaffolding, and guardrails must be in place to prevent falls.


4. Platform requirements: Platforms must be at least 450mm wide and have a minimum of 225mm overlap.


An inspector examining scaffolding for compliance with OSHA regulations in Malaysia.

Training Requirements

Training is a crucial aspect of scaffold safety. DOSH requires that workers receive proper training before using scaffolding:


1. Training for scaffold erectors and dismantlers: Individuals who possess the necessary knowledge and experience to train others must provide training for scaffold erectors and dismantlers.


2. Training for scaffold users: Scaffold users must receive training from a knowledgeable and qualified individual who has the required skills and experience to provide such training. Workers must understand the hazards associated with scaffolding, including fall hazards, and how to use personal fall protection systems.


Inspection Requirements

Inspection is another critical aspect of scaffold safety. Regular inspections must be conducted on scaffolding to confirm its safety for use. DOSH requires the following inspections:


A worker wearing a safety harness on a scaffold, complying with OSHA regulations in Malaysia.

1. Pre-use inspection: Scaffolding must be inspected before each use to ensure that it is safe for workers.


2. Daily inspection: Scaffolding must be inspected daily while in use to ensure that it is still safe for workers.


3. Inspection after incidents: If an incident occurs, such as a fall or a collapse, scaffolding must be inspected before it is used again.


4. Inspection after modifications: If any modifications are made to scaffolding, such as adding or removing components, it must be inspected by a competent person before use.



Angry construction worker that faces penalties for doing violations

Violations and Penalties

Violations of DOSH regulations for scaffolding can result in penalties ranging from fines to criminal charges.


DOSH classifies violations:

  • Minor

  • Serious

  • Very serious

For minor violations, penalties can range from RM1,000 to RM50,000, whereas more serious infractions can lead to penalties of up to RM200,000. Repeat offenders may face higher penalties, and DOSH may also order the suspension of work activities until safety issues are resolved.


Importance of Adhering to DOSH Regulations

Adhering to DOSH regulations for scaffolding is crucial to ensure the safety of workers in Malaysia. Properly designed, erected, and maintained scaffolding can prevent falls and other accidents, minimising the risk of injuries and fatalities. Workers must undergo proper training on the proper use of scaffolding and should be provided with essential personal protective equipment, such as safety lines and harnesses. Employers and contractors must ensure that scaffolding is routinely inspected, and any potential safety hazards are immediately addressed. Employers should establish a secure work environment that incorporates adequate safety measures and thorough training programs for their employees. By adhering to DOSH regulations for scaffolding, employers can create a safer work environment, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.


Conclusion

Scaffolding is a critical apparatus used in construction projects throughout Malaysia, but it can pose a significant danger if not utilised correctly. DOSH has established regulations for scaffolding to ensure the safety of workers, including requirements for design, load, access, and platform. Workers must receive proper training, and scaffolding must be inspected regularly to prevent accidents and injuries.


To support safe construction practices, reputable companies such as Encik Scaffolding, Encik Panjang Skylift, BatuRingan, Lorrycrane.my, Backhoe.my, and EncikRoro offer reliable rental services for scaffolding, skylifts, lightweight blocks, lorry cranes, backhoes, and roro bins. These companies provide essential equipment and services while prioritizing worker safety.



To understand OSHA regulations for scaffolding in Malaysia, refer to our article "Essential Construction Tools: Complying with OSHA Regulations in Malaysia" for detailed information on meeting safety standards and guidelines.

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