From warehouses to construction sites, the scaffolds are used widely and therefore the concerns about the safety protocols with scaffolding equipment must be addressed properly. Although regular inspection and maintenance should take place to ensure that scaffolding equipment is in good working conditions, it’s equally necessary to make sure that both, the workers operating at heights and pedestrians are safe from any kind of accident. To reduce the likelihood of workers, materials and equipment falling from the scaffold platform, toe boards are used as a vital safety tool.
Scaffolding toe boards are basic element of roof safety, these wooden or metal planks act as protective barriers which prevents workers, materials and equipment from slipping away and being knocked off to ground dangerously. Scaffolding platform support numerous workers and equipment, hence there is higher risk of materials being knocked over the side of platform, causing serious injuries to workers below. For this reason, toe boards on scaffolding are considered a mandatory requirement while working on elevated surfaces. Furthermore, toe boards are essential part of scaffolding system because it safeguards the worker from lower body imbalance issue. If worker’s foot accidently slides forward, the toe board will prevent it passing over the edge and drastically reduce the chance of any injury and fatality.
Additionally, it is best practice to use toe boards in conjunction with the purpose and function of handrails wherever there is a risk of tool and objects falling from the edge, as it provides added protection to both workers and pedestrians. Toe boards have adjustable feature, it can be adjusted in length according to varying size of scaffold. It also possesses side flanges with removable fasteners for securing toe board to planking of scaffold through direct securement.
According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), scaffolding toe board requirement exists “when there is a danger of tools, materials, or equipment falling from a scaffold”. The OSHA toe boards requirement states that it needs to be at 3.5” tall and the gap at the bottom should be no more than ¼”. Plus, the toe board must be able to withstand the 50lbs being applied to it. The OSHA guidelines also dictate that scaffolds which are more than 10 feet off the ground must possess at least 4 inches high toe boards on all exposed sides of scaffolding, to protect the employees. However, an exception case is ship scaffolds, it can have three-quarter inch by one-and-a-half inch edging instead of standard four-inch toe boards. These OSHA requirements for toe boards enable to setup workplace regulations which help a great deal in reducing the chance of work-related injuries and fatalities. Summing it up, toe boards on scaffolds prevent hazardous incidents from occurring and create a safe work environment where workers feel secured.