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Construction SOPs
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The competent person checklist is for daily inspections and is to be used as a guide. Refer to regulations and manufacturer for full technical detail.


The competent person should use this checklist for daily inspections of the scaffold. It is not all-inclusive and should be used as a starting point for the competent person to develop a checklist specific to the type of scaffold and jobsite conditions encountered.

Are scaffolds and scaffold components inspected before each work shift by a competent person?

Have employees who erect, disassemble, move, operate, repair, maintain, or inspect the scaffold been trained by a competent person to recognize the hazards associated with this type of scaffold and the performance of their duties related to this scaffold?

Have employees who use the scaffold been trained by a qualified person to recognize the hazards associated it with this scaffold and know the performance of their duties relating to it?

Is the maximum load capacity of this scaffold known and communicated to all employees?

Is the load on the scaffold (including point loading) within the maximum load capacity of this particular scaffold?

Is the scaffold plumb, square, and level?

Is the scaffold on base plates and are mudsills level, sound, and rigid?

Is there safe access to all scaffold platforms?

Are all working platforms fully planked?

Do planks extend at least 6 inches and no more than 12 inches over the supports?

Are the planks in good condition and free of visible defects?

Does the scaffold have all required guardrails and toeboards?

Are 4:1 (height to width) scaffolds secure to the structure as required?



Construction workers use many hand tools, such as, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and tin snips.


If you use hand tools over and over every day, you can injure your hand, wrist, or arm. You can do this if you must hold on tight for a long time or keep twisting the handle, for instance. You can get carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, white finger, and other painful problems if neglected.


You can buy Asafer@ hand tools. Then, you can use them better.


Look for a tool that needs less force to use it.

Look for a tool that weighs less. It can put less stress on your hand. (On some jobs you may need a heavier tool for more force.)

Look for a tool that is balanced, that doesn=t tip forward or backward when you hold it.

Look at the handle:

It should be comfortable in your hand - not too thick or too small or too short.

It should be easy to use with your right and your left hands.

It should not conduct electricity or heat. (Work with a cold handle can make some repetitive stress injuries worse.)

It should not hurt your hand when you hold tight. You do not want sharp edges or finger grooves. If you can, get a non-slip handle. If you can, get a handle with a cover made of soft materials. Ridges on a handle can hurt your hand.

If you need to use a lot of force on the job, the handle should be long enough for your whole hand - not just your fingers. (You want a Apower grip,@ not just a Apinch grip.@ You can use a long handle as a lever to add to the force of a tool and save your hand.

You may need a bigger handle, if you wear gloves when you use the tool.

For some tools, the handle should have a spring return; this reopens the tool for you after you use it. The spring return saves wear and tear on your finger muscles.

A bent angle or adjustable angle on some tools can help you keep your wrist straight. (You don=t want a bent angle for some jobs.) When you work overhead, you may need different tools so you can keep your wrist straight.

You may want to get a rubber or plastic sleeve for the handle to make it safer.

A power tool should have a long trigger, so you can use more than one finger at a time.

Get a power tool with reduced vibration and noise levels. Too much vibration can damage the nerves in your hand and cause Awhite finger.@ If a tool vibrates, you have to grip harder and can hurt your muscles.

If more than one person will use a tool, try to find one that=s comfortable for everyone to hold. You may need different tools for left-handed and right-handed workers and for workers with big and small hands.


Keep the tool sharp and in good condition. This way, you can reduce the force you must use on the tool - and reduce stress on your hands and wrist.

Try not to use tools with your wrist bent. A tool with a bent handle may let you keep your wrist straight.

Use a power tool when you can. A power tool can cut the wear on your hand.

Try to rest your hands during the day. Even a perfect tool can hurt you if you must use it over and over. Lay down the tool of put it in a holster.


One tool cannot do all jobs. If you try to use a tool for a job, it was not designed for, the job will be harder to do.

Many tools in the stores are labeled Aergonomic@ tools; don=t be fooled. You are the one who can tell if a tool is comfortable and easy to use. Try many tools until you find one you like. Everyone has a different hand size, strength, and preferences.

How you use a tool is as important as which tool you use. Try not to use one tool a long time doing the same thing over and over without a rest break.

A good hand tool improves productivity; it helps you get your job done well.


Examples of power tools include electrical, pneumatic, gasoline powered, hydraulic, and power-actuated.


The right tool is used for the job; tools are used within their design limitations.

Tools are not used for anything other than their intended purpose.

Tools are inspected daily before use and are kept clean and in good repair.

Blades, bits, and other cutting parts are inspected prior to each use, are kept sharp, and are replaced if worn or cracked.

Chucks, collars, and other tool holding parts are in good operating condition.

Damaged, defective, or worn tools are tagged and removed from service until repaired.


Workers use only tools with which they have experience, or on which they have been trained.

Tools are used only on secure and stable work surfaces. Work is secured with a vise or clamps if necessary.

Workers using tools stand on a clean, dry surface to prevent slipping.

Work areas are well-lighted.

Workers= bodies are not forced into awkward positions when using tools.

Air hoses and electric cables used in elevated locations are securely fastened to a substantial anchorage at or near the working level. They are fastened no more than 15 feet from the working end.


All guards originally supplied with tools are in place and not altered.

These parts must be guarded:

gears, sprockets, and sprocket chain drives

belt and pulley drives

hazardous revolving or reciprocating parts

pulleys and drums

exposed shafts

projecting shaft ends

collars, clutches, and couplings

A word on switches and controls


Operating controls on all handheld power tools are located to minimize the possibility of accidental operation.

The following handheld power tools are equipped with a constant pressure switch or control that will shut off the power when the pressure is released.

circular saws with blade diameters over 2 inches

chain saws (electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, or gasoline)

percussion tools


The following handheld power tools are equipped with a constant pressure switch or control that will shut off the power when the pressure is released, but they may have a lock-on control provided it can be turned off by a single motion:



fastener drivers (e.g. staplers, nailers)

grinders with wheel diameters over 2 inches

disc sanders with disc diameters over 2 inches

belt sanders

reciprocating, saber, scroll, and jig saws with blade shanks greater than nominal 1/4 inch


If necessary, personal protective equipment is provided by the company and worn by workers. The types used are appropriate for the work and give adequate protection.

Workers using tools always wear safety glasses with side shields or other eye/face protection. Eye and face protection meets the requirements of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1, 1979, American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection.

When work involves potential risk of cuts, burns, harmful physical or chemical agents, or radioactive material, workers use appropriate hand protection, including vibration-dampening gloves when they use vibrating tools. (Exception: Not required if gloves might become caught in moving parts or machinery).

Workers exposed to foot injuries from crushing or penetrating actions, hot surfaces, falling objects, or hazardous substances, or who are required to work in abnormally wet locations, use appropriate foot protection such as steel-toed safety shoes and/or boots. (For jackhammers, workers wear a steel covering over the whole foot, not just the toes.)

Workers exposed to noise in excess of 90 dB use hearing protection. ARS policy is to make hearing protection available.



All electrical tools are grounded or double insulated.

Earth returns are not used for grounding

Every receptacle is grounded.

Electrical cords are protected from damage by vehicles, etc.

Electrical cords are regularly checked for fraying.

Electrical tools are not used in wet areas, or in areas where flammable vapors may be present, unless specifically designed for that purpose.

Electrical tools are not hoisted or lowered by their cords.


Air hose connections are checked to make sure they are secured properly. and

Compressed air over 10 psi is never used to blow dirt, chips, or dust from clothing while it is being worn.

All pneumatic impact tools have safety clips or retainers so dies and tools won=t be accidentally expelled from the barrel.

Pneumatic nailers and staplers operating at more than 100 pounds per square inch (psi) have a safety device to prevent operation when the muzzle is not in contact with the surface.

Pneumatic nailers and staplers are disconnected at the tool from the air supply when not in use.

Hoses over 2 inch inside diameter have safety devices at the source of supply, or branch lines to reduce pressure in case of hose failure.

Operators using pneumatically driven nailers and staplers on steep roofs (1/3 pitch or greater) always wear a securely fastened safety belt and lanyard.

On roofs of 1/4 pitch or greater, the air hose for a pneumatic nailer or stapler is secured at roof level to provide ample, but not excessive, amounts of hose.

Pneumatic tools are not hoisted or lowered by their hoses.

On portable compressors:

Wheels are fixed, locked, or blocked to prevent rolling.

Fans are guarded with a shroud or side screens.

Air tanks are drained of liquid according to the manufacturer=s specifications.


Gasoline is stored in approved containers or portable tanks per Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.

Fire extinguishers of the correct type are available where gasoline is stored. An additional extinguisher is located outside of the room or immediate area where the gasoline is stored.

When tools are filled, or when gasoline is transferred between containers, proper grounding and bonding procedures are used to prevent sparks.


Note: Power-actuated tools may only be used by trained personnel. These guidelines protect workers in the nearby area. Most of these tools require valid operator card. Refer to ANSI A 10.3, 1977 Safety Requirements for Power-actuated Fastening Systems.

Tool containers are lockable, and have the required warning labels on the inside and outside of the container.

Loaded powder-actuated tools are not left unattended.

Power-actuated tools are operated in accordance with the manufacturer=s instructions.

Power-actuated tools are not loaded until ready for use.

They are unloaded immediately if work is interrupted.

Power-actuated tools are never pointed at any person, whether the tool is loaded or unloaded. Hands and feet are kept clear of the open barrel end.

On misfire, the tool is held in place for 30 seconds.

Warning signs are conspicuously posted within 50 feet of the area where power-actuated tools are being used, and are removed promptly when no longer applicable.


Teeth on the upper half of the saw blade are permanently guarded.

Teeth on the lower half of the saw blade are guarded with a telescopic or hinged guard.

Guards are not blocked open to prevent functioning.


There is a control that returns to idle when released.

The clutch is adjusted to prevent the chain drive from engaging at idle speed.

The operator is positioned properly to avoid injury in case of Akick back.@

The engine is stopped when the saw is carried over 100 feet, or when it is being cleaned, refueled, adjusted, or repaired.


Excessively worn grinding disks are discarded and replaced.

Abrasive wheels have hoods or guards to protect workers from flying fragments of a bursting wheel.

There are guards on the spindle end and on nut and flange projections. They are mounted to maintain proper alignment with the wheel. The strength of the fastenings exceeds the strength of the guard.

Wheels are inspected before mounting, and the spindle speed is checked to make sure that it doesn=t exceed the rating marked on the wheel.

Wheels fit freely on the spindles and remain free under all grinding conditions.

All contact surfaces of wheels, blotters, and flanges are flat and free of foreign matter.

If there is a bushing in the wheel hole, it doesn=t exceed the width of the wheel, and it doesn=t contact the flanges.


[29CFR 1926.1053 (B)(1)]


When using portable ladders to access an upper landing surface, the ladder side rails must extend at least 3 feet (.9m) above the landing surface where the ladder is being used; or when such an extension is not possible because of the ladder=s length, the ladder must be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect, and a grasping device-such as a grabrail-must be provided to assist employees in mounting and dismounting the ladder. The extension must never be such that ladder deflection under a load would, by itself, cause the ladder to slip off its support.


The rule protects employees during two critical phases of ladder climbing:

When employees are on the ladder and their movement may affect the ladder and its support points, making it slip or fall; and

When the employee is either getting on or off the ladder. If nothing is available to grab and provide support, the employee will be in a bent-over position and his or her center of gravity may be outside the vertical line of normal body position, making the employee vulnerable to a fall.

The rule specifies: Side rails must extend 3 feet above the landing. Or when this is not possible, secure side rails at the top to a rigid support - e.g. by tying with rope or boxing in with lumber - and provide a grab device. The grasping device can be made of metal or lumber and can be part of the structure, providing its location does not create a hazard in itself and it can be easily grasped. In addition, secure ladders to prevent them from deflecting and slipping while in use.


Slip and fall from elevation

Probable injuries range from death to broken bones and sprains/strains.

(Among Other) Suggested Abatements

Abatement is obvious. Construct/use ladders according to specification requirements.

Instruct employees and supervisors to inspect ladders during each shift in their work area.

Selected Case Histories

An employee climbing a 10-foot ladder to access a landing 9 feet above the adjacent floor fell when the ladder slid down. He sustained fatal injuries. Although the ladder had slip-resistant feet, it was not secured, and the railings did not extend 3 feet above the landing.


This standard covers only portable ladders. A similar requirement for fixed ladders is outlined in Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1926.1053(a) (24).



Among electricians
, the most serious concern is working Alive@ or near live wires, instead of de-energizing and/or using lockout/tagout procedures.

Among non-electricians, failure to avoid live overhead power lines and lack of basic electrical safety knowledge are major concerns.

Electrocutions are the fourth leading cause of death among construction workers in the U.S.A. (DOL data 92-97). Electricians, followed by laborers, carpenters, painters, and electrical power installers make up this group.

Major Causes of Electrocution

1. Failure to protect power lines and maintain minimum clearance distances from power lines (excerpt, OSHA - minimum clearance distances from overhead power lines.)

Less than 300 volts 2 feet

300 volts to 50,000 volts 10 feet

More than 50,000 volts 10 feet + 4 inches for every 10,000 volts over 50,000 volts

Direct contact with electrical wiring and equipment (including light fixtures, circuit breakers, control panels, junction boxes, and transformers) was caused mainly by working Alive@ or near live wires and not using lockout-tagout procedures.

Another cause of electrocutions was contact with appliances, machinery, and power tools, including air conditioning units and portable lights. Defective power cords and extension cords were involved in more than one-fourth of these deaths.

In some of the electrocutions, construction workers touched metal (or other) objects that had become energized through contact with live electrical circuit/parts. The most common examples involved metal ladders, metal pipes, metal wires that were deliberately cut or stripped or were accidentally cut by electric drills or other tools, wires that were energized by contact with live wires, and energized trucks and other vehicles.

Working in cramped areas was a factor in at least 6 electrocutions per year. For electricians, working in attics or above drop ceilings was a risk and for other construction workers, working under houses or in basement crawl spaces.

Standing in water or having equipment such as trouble lights and extension cords touching water was also a factor in at least 6 electrocutions per year.

Many people forget that even household current can kill; 11% of the electrocutions involved residential construction, almost always household voltage (120/240 volts). At least 13% of all electrocutions involved 120/240 volts.


Following these procedures would prevent most electrocutions.

Responsible Party

Comply with OSHA regulations on electrical safety

Train employees on electrical safety

Contact utility companies in advance to de-energize or insulate overhead power lines.

If asked to work live, verify with owner/client that de-energizing live electrical circuit/parts is not practical or would create a greater hazard.

Only allow work on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system with specific procedures.

Electricians should

De-energize and lock out or tag out electrical circuits/parts you will be working on or near.

Only work on live electrical circuits/parts in accordance with a permit system with specific procedures.

Wear suitable personal protective equipment and use proper tools when de-energizing or testing live electrical circuits/parts.

Other Workers Should

Make sure you are trained in electrical safety for the work you will be doing.

Ensure machinery and power tools are properly grounded or double insulated.

Check all extension and power cords for wear and tear before use.

Disconnect the plug on any power tool or machinery before inspecting or repairing.

Keep at least 10 feet from live overhead power lines (see chart 3)

Keep metal and other conductive objects away from live electrical circuits/parts.

Solvents in Maintenance and Construction

Solvents are liquids used to:

Dissolve greases, oils, and paints

Thin or mix pigments, paints, glues, pesticides, and epoxy resins.

Solvents are in adhesives, carpet glues, cleaning fluids, epoxy resins, hardeners, lacquers, mastics, (asphalt or coal-tar), paint, paint thinners, and primers. They=re used to clean tools, too.

Examples of solvents are alcohol, benzene, epichlorohydrin, esters, glycol ethers, heptane, hexane, ketones, methanol, mineral spirits, naphtha, toluene, trichloroethane (methyl chloroform), turpentine, and xylene.


You can be exposed to solvents if you:

Get them on your skin. (Many solvents can go through your skin. For some solvents, the danger is as bad as if you breathe them).

Swallow them. Solvents get into body fat in the skin, nerves, and brain.

Breathe them. (This can happen when you mix glue or paint because solvents evaporate fast.)

Many solvents can catch fire, even in cold weather.



Very small exposures over many months can harm you. So can one large exposure.

Working with solvents can make you feel dizzy, uncoordinated, like a drunk-or cause headaches, nausea, stomach pains, skin rashes, cracking or bleeding skin, or irritated eyes, nose, and throat.


Some solvents can blind you, destroy your kidneys or liver, or affect your nervous system. Some solvents can add to your risk of irregular heart beats, which can kill you. Some can cause cancer.

Read the labels and the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for each solvent you will use.

Replace solvents when you can. If you use water-based (latex) paints, you don=t need to use thinners or cleaners that have solvents.

Don=t get solvents on your skin. Don=t use solvents to wash paint off your hands. When you use gloves, check the manufacturer=s instructions to make sure the gloves protect against the solvent you are using. When you clean oil-based paint from brushes, wear gloves.

Wash your hands before you smoke, eat, or drink. If you don=t, you can swallow solvents by mistake. Don=t smoke, eat, or drink where solvents are used.

Try not to breathe solvents. Use the smallest container you can. Keep lids on paint or glue when they are not being used. Throw out rags that have solvents on them. Keep your face away from solvents. Use a long-handled paint roller.

Work with solvents only where there is fresh air. You can=t always smell solvents. You may have to work indoors - to glue tile or spray-paint a wall - or in a trench or other confined space with solvents. If you do, set an exhaust fan to pull the fumes away from you. (Indoors, try to have one fan in a window pull fumes outdoors and one fan to pull in air from outside the room.)

Paper dust masks will not protect you against solvents. You need at least a half-mask respirator with a black organic-vapor cartridge.

An organic-vapor cartridge may not be enough against some solvent vapors that can cause cancer, like methylene chloride. For those chemicals, OSHA and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommend only supplied-air respirators with air hoses. Respirator cartridges must be changed regularly - often once per shift, or more.

You may be required to participate in the ARS Medical Program.

If your work requires a respirator, you must follow the Respiratory Protection Program of your location.

To prevent fires, when you throw out rags that have solvents; place rags in metal, fire-rated containers.


HAZARDS: badly cut or burned by power saw

sprains and strains

hearing loss

related dust exposure

electric saws - hazard of electrocution

gas-powered saws - carbon monoxide poisoning and death

: Citation, Sources

Read the owner=s manual before you first use a saw. Keep blades sharp, clean, and oiled. Inspect blades for cracks.

When you use a saw, wear goggles, safety glasses with side shields, or a face shield. (OSHA rules for using power tools and saws in construction are in the Code of Federal Regulations, 29 CFR 1926.302 and 304. The respirator standard is 29 CFR 1910.134. Training requirements can be found in 29 CFR 1926.21, 1926.59, 1926.95-102, and 1926.400. The American National Standards Institute, ANSI, approved a standard for portable cutting machines, including power saws, B7.5-1990.

Do not wear jewelry, such as chains. Do not wear loose clothes. If you have long hair, tie it inside your hard hat. Wear hearing protection. Do not cut unless you have a clear work area and solid footing. Do not use a power saw when your are on a scaffold. Keep other people away from the saw when you are using or refueling it.

: OSHA says you must be trained in general workplace hazards, electrical hazards, and personal protective equipment.


Here is how to protect against the main hazards:

Lung diseases. Do not dry-cut masonry or stone or you can get lung disease. Cutting brick, cement, concrete, or stone can make a lot of dust - and there can be silica in it. (Silicosis can kill you.) Wet-cutting is the best way to control dust. Local-exhaust ventilation can capture the dust at the blade. As a last resort, your boss may give you a respirator. If you use a respirator, OSHA says you must have a full respirator program. This means proper selection and fitting of respirators, medical screening to be sure you can wear a respirator, and worker training to use respirators.


An electric saw needs to be double-insulated or have a 3-prong plug in a grounded outlet. And a saw needs a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Unplug a saw before you change a blade. Be extra careful when working in wet grass or near a puddle. If you are cutting toward any wires, make sure they have been disconnected. OSHA says you must not use worn electric cords or cables. OSHA says electrical equipment should not be used in damp, wet, or very hot locations.


Make sure the saw blade is not touching anything before you turn on a saw. Do not drop-start a chainsaw. To start a saw with a starter cord, put one foot on the back handle, put one hand on the top handle to keep the blade off the surface, and use the other hand to pull the cord. OSHA says a circular saw must have a guard above and below the base plate. Keep the blade guard and other safety devices on the saw. Make sure the blade guard goes back to the fully guarded position after you cut.

Hold a saw with both hands. Do not use your leg to prop up a saw. To prevent kickback, hold your forward arm straight and do not cut above chest height.

After you turn off a saw, hold it away from you until the blade stops turning. Do not prop the saw on your leg while the blade slows down. Turn off a saw before you carry it anywhere.


What you cut can catch fire from friction. A spark from a saw can ignite any gasoline leaking from the saw. Make sure there are no fuel leaks and the fuel cap is tight. Turn off the saw and let it cool down before you refuel it.


When you can, put your work on a solid surface at waist height. Try not to work bent over or in other awkward positions.


If you use a gas-powered saw where there is not a lot of fresh air, carbon monoxide can kill you fast. This can happen even in a crawl space or a garage. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide gas. Fans can help keep fresh air coming in, but fans are not always enough. If you can, use an electric saw instead of a gas-powered saw. OSHA has special rules for controlling toxic gases in closed spaces and for personal protective equipment.


Construction has a much higher rate of eye injury than any other industry, approximately 10,000 eye injuries annually.(DOL data 92-97)


Nails, tiny pieces of metal, splinters, and cut wire ends fly in the air. Mixing of cement, sawing, grinding, and chipping produce dusts and grit. So does heavy machinery moving across a site. Chemicals and welding arc can burn your eyes. If you are not careful, you can hurt your eyes or go blind.


Always wear goggles or safety glasses.

Always wear goggles:

If there will be a lot of dust

For overhead work.

Also wear a clear, plastic face shield for:

Work with chemicals or metals that can splash

Grinding, chipping, or using a wire brush on welds

Flying particles

Sandblasting (the respirator needed for sandblasting has a helmet with a strong shield).

Remember, all eyewear must be marked Z87.ANSI. For impact resistance, purchase polycarbonate lenses.

For a welding hood, the number of the filter lense shade and the company must be marked on lense.


1. OSHA requires a flame-proof screen around a welder to protect other people in the work area.

2. Do not look at the welders are or the arc reflection unless you are wearing a welding hood with the same lens as the welder. Failure to follow this instruction could result in welders flash (burns) in your eyes.

Filter lens shades for welding and flame cutting 3 things affect the lens number you need:

Intensity of radiant energy produced by the work

Background lighting (indoor or outdoor work)

Type of filter lens (standard or reflective)*

You can always use a darker lens (a higher number). Minimum standard lens shade number needed.

Note: Full text is in 29 CFR 1926.102 Filter Lense Number

Type of Work



Torch soldering



Torch blazing



Flame cutting



Gas welding



*Gas metal arc welding



*Shielded metal arc welding



*Gas tungsten arc welding



*Plasma arc welding



*Plasma arc cutting



*Air/carbon arc cutting



*Flux arc welding



* Numbers are for standard filter lens. If reflective lens is used, it is acceptable to use one number lower; as an example, for shielded metal arc welding indoors, you can use reflective lens 10.


Use eyewear

Use local-exhaust ventilation or fans to blow fumes/dusts away

Eye wash stations must be at the worksite if there are materials that can damage eyes. (Portables are available)

Know where your nearest water source is



When chemicals are in eye

Flush for 15 minutes with flowing water source

Procedure to medical follow-up immediately

When hit in the eye (object)

Hold COLD compress over eye and seek medical attention.

When hit in eye with flying metal, wood, or material from power drill and puncture or cut in eye.

Do not wash out eye

Do not attempt to pull object out of eye

Do not push or apply pressure to eye

Transport victim to emergency room