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Construction Insurance Bulletin

Rigging and Scaffolding Safety

By December 5, 2014No Comments

Construction workers, painting contractors, and window washers are some of the industries that use scaffolding and rigging.

Although this equipment is for worker safety, it is also the source of many injury and fatality claims including injuries to passersby.. Even though insurance such as worker’s compensation and General Construction Liability Insurance (CGL) or a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) help protect companies from legal liability, it is simply good business and a moral obligation to take reasonable measures to cut these injuries and fatalities.


Rigging is the term used to broadly describe the myriad equipment used to lift, push, hoist, or pull objects on construction sites the most common types of rigging equipment helps hoist and crane operators when the task is lifting, then moving, a load horizontally. Installing the rigging is the duty of licensed riggers. Among the safety measures riggers use include:

  • Inspection of surroundings – riggers must survey the construction site and insure that there is enough room for lifting objects and moving them horizontally. Things to look out for include power lines and trees. Before the equipment operators use the equipment it must first be inspected.
  • The inspection, according to OSHA regulations must make sure that the rigging and the equipment it is working with is safe to activate and all controls work correctly.
  • Frequent inspections also called for too.
  • When a rigging setup is in use, the area where it is in use need barricades or blocking off from the public and construction workers.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, 72 percent of workers injured in a scaffolding accident, reported that the accident cause was planking or support failing or, the employee was subject to either slipping or being hit by an object falling from above.

Cutting the number of accidents, construction sites simply need to follow the OSHA regulation on scaffolding. There are a number of OSHA requirements applicable to scaffolding used on construction sites. Key provisions include:

  • Fall protection or fall arrest systems are in place and working properly when scaffolds are in use and a worker is 10 feet or higher from the ground.
  • The uppermost guard rail on a scaffold is between 38 inches and 45 inches in height.
  • Scaffolds must have proper planking, that is full planking or decking
  • Guying ties and braces for supported scaffolds need a height-to-base ratio of greater than 4:1.
  • The scaffolds should have restraining systems for tipping by guying, tying, bracing or their equal.
  • Every employee has training in the correct way to use scaffolding.

More information is available at no charge from OSHA at,