What is ISO 14001(Environmental management system)

ISO 14001

What is an environmental management system ?

An environmental management system helps organizations identify, manage,monitor and control their environmental issues in a “ holistic ” manner. Other ISO standards that look at different types of management systems, such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 45001 for occupational
health and safety, all use a High- Level Structure.This means that ISO 14001 can be integrated easily into any existing ISO management system.
ISO 14001 is suitable for organizations of all types and sizes, be they private, not-for-profit or governmental. It requires that an organization considers all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency.
Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement of an organization’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.

What benefits will it bring to my business or organization ?

There are many reasons why an organization should take a strategic approach to improving its environmental performance. Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001 helps :
  • Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees.
  • Improve company reputation &the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication.
  • Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management
  • Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiency and reduced costs.
  • Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business systems.

Benefits to your customers:

  • Reassures customers who take an active interest in environmental performance that they are working with a company which promotes a shared environmental etho.
  • Proof that you are maintaining a forward thinking, environmentally aware organization that fulfills its corporate social responsibility.

Benefits to your staff:

  • Increase the motivation of your environmentally conscious employees
  • Increase environmental awareness among the entire workforce
  • Actively reduces environmental risks and prevents incidents to both employees and the local environment

Why was ISO 14001 revised?

All ISO standards are reviewed every five years to establish if a revision is required in order to keep it current and relevant for the marketplace. ISO 14001:2015 is designed to respond to latest trends and ensure it is compatible with other management system standards.

What are the main changes to the standard?

The key changes relate to:
  • Increased prominence of environmental management within the organization's strategic planning processes.
  • Greater focus on leadership.
  • Addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation.
  • Improving environmental performance added.
  • Life cycle thinking when considering environmental aspects.
  • Addition of a communications strategy

Environmental aspects audit checklist (Applied for ISO 14000):

1. What evidence exists that the organization has established, implemented and maintains (a) procedure(s) to identify the environmental aspects of its activities, products or services within the defined scope of the environmental management system that it can control and those that it can influence taking into account planned or new developments, or new modified activities, products and services and determined those aspects that have or can have a significant impact(s) on the environment (i.e. significant environmental aspects)?
2. Does the decision making process take into consideration inputs and outputs, normal and abnormal operating conditions, start ups and shut downs, actual influences, potential influences and potential emergency situations, as well as those that are beneficial to the environment?
3. Does the decision making process take into consideration the amount of control and influence the organization have over its aspects?
4. How/when are aspects reviewed and maintained; changes to processes, changes to regulations, introduction of new raw materials?                                                 
5. Does the documentation reflect this change?
6. Where is this information documented and is it kept up to date?
7. Where has the organization identified environmental aspects for its operations, products and services? What was the process that was used?
8. Who was involved in determining aspects?
9. Were air emissions, possible ground and surface water contamination, landfill issues, use of natural resources, raw materials and energy considered as well as community issues such as noise, traffic, and odor?
10. Are current, planned and modified activities considered?
11. Look for potential aspects that have not been taken into consideration and ask why they were not considered. How are significant environmental aspects determined? What criteria are used?

Objectives, targets and programs audit checklist (Applied for ISO 14000)

1. Has the organization established, implemented and does it maintain documented environmental objectives and targets, at each relevant function and level within the organization?
2. Look for documented environmental objectives and targets.
3. How does the organization ensure that employees on all levels are aware of objectives and targets?
4. Speak with employees on all levels to determine if they are aware of objectives and targets.
5. How does the organization develop objectives and targets? Who is responsible for developing them?
6. What types of things were taken into consideration during development? Were reducing the creation of waste, reducing the release of specific elements to the air, reducing ground water contamination, reducing use of raw materials by reducing rework and scrap, taken into consideration? Was promoting awareness within the organization and the surrounding community considered?
7. Do the objectives and targets reflect the vision of the EMS policy? Are they consistent with the policy?
8. Do they include commitments to the prevention of pollution and compliance with applicable rules, requirements and regulations?
9. Have measurable targets been defined? If not, why not?
10. Are targets both short and long term?
11. How are the objectives and targets maintained? Who is responsible for maintaining them?
12. Objectives, targets and programs – Are the objectives and targets measurable, where practical, and consistent with the environmental policy, including the commitments to prevention of pollution, to compliance with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and to continual improvement?
13. When establishing and reviewing its objectives and targets, does the organization take into account the legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and its significant environmental aspects? Does the organization also consider its technological options, its financial, operational and business requirements, and the views of interested parties?
14. What factors does the organization consider in setting objectives and targets? How are significant impacts considered?
15. Look at plans. Is there one for every objective and target? What happens when something doesn’t go according to plan? Is corrective action taken?
16. How is management kept informed of the progress towards the targets? How are employees informed of the progress towards the targets?
17. Look for graphs, information in newsletters, meeting minutes, and posters. How does the organization plan to achieve objectives and targets?
18. Have responsibilities been defined?
19. Have time lines been defined?
20. How is progress monitored? Is it measurable?
21. What has been included in the development of the plan?
22. How are resources obtained?
23. Are legal and other requirements, available technology, financial, operational and business requirements considered? Were interested parties involved in the development of objectives? If so, how?
24. How were objectives developed? Who participated in their development?
25. Has the organization established, implemented and does it maintain a program(s) for achieving its objectives and targets, including designation of responsibility for achieving objectives and targets at each relevant function and level of the organization and the means and time-frame by which they are to be achieved?
26. What plans have been developed to achieve objectives and targets?
27. Do plans include responsibility for achieving the objectives and targets?
28. Do plans reflect objectives and targets at lower levels of the organization?
29. Does the plan include its own targets and timelines for reaching them?

Audit checklist of Legal and other requirements (Applied for ISO 14000)

1. Has the organization established, implemented and do they maintain a procedure(s) to identify and have access to the applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, related to its environmental aspects and determined how these requirements apply to its environmental aspects?
2. Is there a list of applicable rules and regulations?
3. Who is responsible for keeping this information updated and current? Does the list include any voluntary standards?
4. How does the organization ensure it is complying with these regulations?
5. Speak with people in the organization to determine if they are aware of any regulations.
6. Did the organization consider national, international, state and local rules and regulations?
7. Does the organization have any agreements with public authorities, or with customers?
8. Do they subscribe to any voluntary guidelines or industry practices such as Responsible Care?
9. What process does the organization have for reviewing requirements to make sure they are current in the face of changing processes and business requirements?
10. Do regulations include such things as Federal Title V or Synthetic Minor, State Emissions Inventory and Permit Fee?
11. What is the procedure regarding this requirement?
12. How does the organization know what regulations and requirements they may be subject to?
13. Do they subscribe to industry newsletters or websites? Do they have a third party environmental service monitor regulations for them and alert them as to any changes?
14. Has the organization ensured that these applicable legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes are taken into account in establishing, implementing and maintaining its environmental management system?
15. Check the organization’s objective and targets to determine if requirements are included.
16. Was the selection of significant aspects based partially on applicable legal requirements and other requirements?

These are some procedures of ISO 14000 as follows:

1. Procedure for nonconformity solving & corrective and preventative actions a. All the staff when noticing any nonconformity must make a report and send it to the head of division or the board representative. Non conformity such as:
  • Nonconformity with the work procedure and work guide.
  • Nonconformity with goal and objective.
  • Unexpected situations that negatively affect the environment.
  • Soil, air, and water pollution that is uncontrollable.
  • Accidents.
  • Non conformities in the evaluation process of manager.

2. Procedure for monitoring & measurement

4.1. Make the plan of monitoring and measurement

• The objective of this plan is to assure that:
– Examine all activities significantly relating to environment
– Supervise the process of goal and task implementation.
– Evaluate the conformance with legal and other requirements.
• After identifying the significant environmental aspects, EPD will work with the heads of producing sectors to create and execute the plan of monitoring and measurement.

3. Procedure for identifying environmental aspects & effects.

4.1. The order for identifying the environmental aspects: The heads of divisions are responsible for identifying the aspects, following the steps mentioned in the enclosed form.
  • List all the work that their divisions are responsible, based on considering the input and output of the work, product or service.
  • As for each work, product or service, the manager must classify different situations: normal, unnormal or urgent.
  •  Procedure for responding to urgent situation.

4. Procedure content:

  • First, EPD will identify significant environmental aspect requirements to prepare for urgent situation.
  • Heads of divisions prepare emergency plan by approaching and evaluating these aspects. The evaluation result will be reported to the EPD.
  • EPD then will collect information and consider the confidence and emergency level of each situation to decide whether or not the company will need to provide with suitable resources.

5. Procedure for setting goal, target and environment management program

4.2. Setting environment goals and targets. Remember to consider the following when setting goals:

  • Must be suitable with the environment policy, including the agreement on pollution prevention.
  • Abide by legal and other requirements.
  • Must mention the significant environmental aspects.
  • Must be suitable with technology ability, requirements of business and finance activities.
  • Opinions of concerned parties.
  • Meet the company regulations (if have).

6. Procedure for identifying legal and other requirements

4.1. The board representative needs to set up relationship with environment and health safety organizations to update new environment requirements so that the environment management activity of the company is always effective and suitable.
4.2. Administration division collects, analyses and documents information appropriately and in time for the environment management project.

7. Regulation for saving resources Electricity saving:

1. Everyone must know that electricity is necessary and must follow this saving.
2. The machines and facility of the company must be used properly as specified, turn off when not using.
3. Stick notes reminding of turning off light, fan, air conditioner or setting automatic mode at suitable place.
4. Equip a thermometer in room with air conditioner and never let temperature (in room) too high or low.

what is External and Internal Safety Audit in HSE

Third Party Audits (external auditing):

The organizations management or the regulator may decide to have an external agency carry out an independent safety audit.  “External audits of the SMS may be conducted by relevant authorities responsible for acceptance of the service provider’s SMS. Additionally, audits may be conducted by industry associations or other third parties selected by the service provider. These external audits enhance the internal audit system as well as provide independent oversight.”
An organization which possesses the necessary expertise and technical experience to verify on behalf of a State authority the compliance of an air navigation service provider with the applicable regulatory requirements is called a qualified entity.

Internal Safety Audits (self auditing):

Internal safety audits and safety surveys should be used to assess the level of compliance with the applicable regulatory framework and the organizational SMS processes and procedures, to verify the effectiveness of such processes and procedures and to identify corrective measures if needed. Planning of the audits should take into account the safety significance of the processes to be audited and the results of previous audits. An annual audit program should include:
  • Definition of the audits, in terms of criteria, scope, frequency, and methods;
  • Description of the processes used to select the auditors;
  • The requirement that individuals shall not audit their own work;
  • Documented procedures for assignment of responsibilities, planning and conduct of audits, reporting results and maintaining records;
  • Audits of contractors and vendors.

Different Types of Safety audit in HSE

Types of safety audit:

There are three types of audit , which classified under three category as follows.
1. Compliance audit.
2. program audit.
3. Management system audit.

1. Compliance audit

The most basic audit is a compliance or condition inspection. OSHA does not specifically require that companies conduct safety and health audits, but OSHA regulations are written such that employers must furnish their employees with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards and complies with certain OSHA standards. Management then develops programs for each employee to comply with certain standards, rules and regulations. In addition, compliance requirements dictate certain record-keeping, programs and training requirements. A true compliance audit will look at all three factors — conformance, record-keeping and training.
A safety audit based on OSHA compliance will determine whether the company can provide a safe and healthful workplace. But this audit on its own tends to focus more on unsafe conditions rather than unsafe acts and behaviors. However, the majority of accidents occur from unsafe acts, i.e., you can have a wet floor (unsafe condition), but an injury may not occur until someone walks on the wet floor and slips (unsafe act). It is impossible to have a workplace free from unsafe conditions all of the time, because conditions and people change and the potential that someone will create unsafe conditions is always present.

2. Program audit:

To achieve a goal of reducing accidents and incidents as well as unsafe acts and conditions which result in accidents, you must have programs in place that dictate how to implement safety rules or requirements. An example of a regulatory requirement is to record accidents on an OSHA 300 log and to do so within six days. A program requirement would describe the method one would use to investigate the accident.  OSHA, while providing suggestions for investigating an accident, does not regulate how to investigate. So it is up to the company to define and write down the procedure for investigating the accident in order to implement the safety rule or requirement and to make it meaningful. Having done so, the company now has a safety program in place for the procedure.
A program audit is an analysis that gauges the implementation and strategy of these safety programs. Is the company following its own procedures and programs?
One drawback to a program audit is determining what to use as a standard. There is plenty of guidance but not much consistency in professional practice when it comes to what should be included in safety programs. There are some fundamentals, however. For one, it is essential to any safety program that all procedures are written down. Writing down the program allows the communication of the hazard as well as the procedures for minimizing exposure to the hazard and allows the procedure to be checked, measured and or audited. If unsafe acts create unsafe conditions, you need a program to communicate how to stop doing those things.
One challenge is that keeping safety programs current requires being able to manage change. New facilities, equipment and personnel (i.e., change in shift hours if it means an increase in workers’ exposure time) require changes in safety programs.
Both the compliance and program audit are useful snapshots to indicate potential exposures and risks. The value of these audits is to find the safety gaps so they can be closed. Another value is to verify if people are really following established safety guidelines. But an audit that is conducted only once a year is limited if there is no ongoing process by which to measure peoples’ performance how often and how well are employees using and following safety programs.

Management systems audit

The final step in a comprehensive safety audit is to evaluate and validate the effectiveness of, and management’s commitment to, safety compliance and programs, employee involvement, and risk control procedures. The management systems audit examines accountability, effectiveness of this implementation and how well the company’s health and safety program is integrated into the overall culture. A management systems audit integrates all three audit techniques, document review,Safety Audit graphicinterviews and workplace observation, to make these determinations.  Finally, to make safety programs sustainable, they must be integrated into the company’s existing business practices.

Who conducts the Safety Audit?

The Safety Audit is an interdisciplinary self-assessment tool, so the work is conducted by a community team of domestic violence experts and key workers who represent the systems that are being examined. Team members collect data and meet as a group to discuss the Audit findings; recommend changes in policy, procedure, and training; strategics how to implement the recommended changes; and help implement, monitor, and evaluate the changes over time.

What happens during a Safety Audit?

The process involves examining whether institutional policies and practice enhance the safety of battered women and their children, as well as enforce perpetrator accountability. The Safety Audit does not assess individual effectiveness or actions. An Audit involves mapping the system, interviewing and observing workers, analyzing paperwork and other texts generated in the handling of domestic violence cases. Recommendations coming out of an Audit process are directed toward institutional changes that will enhance victim safety and perpetrator accountability.

Who serves on the Safety Audit Team:

The Audit team typically consists of practitioners from agencies involved in the case processing under review. All Audit teams have a significant presence of community-based advocates who have expertise in the dynamics of domestic abuse and a close relationship with victims of battering. The goal is to have an analysis that incorporates the knowledge of a cross section of people who work with these cases everyday. Audit team members must be committed to inter agency cooperative work, confidentiality as agreed upon by the team, and an openness to find and fix problems without creating or deepening inter agency conflicts.

What are the outcomes of a Safety Audit:

  • Discovering gaps in safety and accountability within the case processing systems under review, i.e., answering the “Audit question.”
  • Specific recommendations for system change that enable community partners to close the discovered gaps.
  • New expertise in a process that can be used for ongoing community planning, evaluation, and problem-solving.
  • New ways of community partners to work together.

Safety Audit Team:

Safety audits should be carried out at general management level and at each plant or site. The audit team members should be carefully selected for their knowledge and experience in the field of audit, from general management, plant management, and other safety specialists.
For example, at plant level, the team should consist of, as a minimum:
• Site Plant Manager
• Site Plant Foreman
• Safety Specialist.
As safety audits are carried out at a number of levels in a factory, e.g. small department, followed by
operating and then general management level, it is essential that a team member at the lowest level is also incorporated in the next level team, and so on,so as to ensure a common approach, improved ease of reporting and communication.
When safety audits are carried out at a Main Branch satellite works, it is recommended that one of the Safety Audit Team who conducted the audit at the satellite works, participate in the Main Branch
The indications given for frequency, duration, team composition and areas of activity may be adjusted according to plant size.

Safety Audit Report:

Local management must be involved in the review of the findings of the audit team before the audit
team leaves site.
Following the audits, a report should be issued containing the following:
  • A description of all findings relative to items needing a proposal for remedial action.
  • A description of any defects detected on equipment and initial proposals for remedial actions.
  • The names and job titles of those people who are responsible for initiating remedial actions.
  • The need for any revision of operating instructions or company standards.
  • Agreed target dates for completion (which realistically allow sufficient time for thorough technical.
  • assessment and consequent changes, if necessary).
Copies of the audit report shall be given to the local plant manager and to the company management,
who will take decisions and supervise follow-up actions agreed by the safety audit team.

Monitoring and Follow-up:

Monitoring of approved safety audit conclusions and recommendations is an important activity to
ensure improvement of the safety level of a plant or company.
It is the responsibility of the Plant Manager to see that audit conclusions and recommendations are
implemented by the agreed target dates.
Appendix A: Proposed Characteristics of Safety Audits, Safety Inspections
and Safety Walks

what is Safety Audit in HSE?

Safety Audit :

Audit is a systematic and, wherever possible, independent examination to determine whetheractivities and related results conform to planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve the organization's policy and objectives.
The health and safety management audit our members adopted is a structured process of collecting independent information on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of the total H&S management system and drawing up plans for corrective action.
Auditing examines each stages in the H&S management system by measuring compliance with the controls the organization has developed, with the ultimate aim of assessing their effectiveness and their validity for the future.


The objective of the safety audit is to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s safety effort and
make recommendations which lead to a reduction in accidents and minimization of loss potential.
Safety audits are an important part of a company’s control system and these checks ensure that
deteriorating standards are detected. Examination of the defects exposed in this review results in
hazardous conditions and potential accidents being avoided.
Regular audits should be based on the premise that resources should be made available to identify
and eliminate hazards before accidents occur, rather than use the resource of manpower and
materials only after injuries and damage to equipment have resulted in human suffering, significant
monetary loss which, in certain circumstances, affect the profitability severely.
The safety audits will monitor all activities performed on site, and in particular:

  • The basic safety policy and organization of the company.
  • Management commitment and example on safety matters.
  • Administration and safety activity.
  • Accident reporting and investigation.
  • Opportunity of injury – and record of every injury.
  • Safety committees.
  • Working rules and practices for each company location, including visitors and contractors.
  • Compliance with statutory regulations and company standards.
  • Behavior and unsafe acts of personnel and their relationship to compliance with safety rules.
  • Activity related certification of employees.
  • First Aid certified employees.
  • Training needs and activities.
  • Hazards review of process equipment for either new or existing facilities.
  • Operating procedures.
  • Safety work permits.
  • Emergency procedures.

Application of  safety audit:

Safety audits are conducted in order to assess the degree of compliance with the applicable safety regulatory requirements and with the procedural provisions of a Safety Management System(SMS) if one is in place. They are intended to provide assurance of the safety management functions, including staffing, compliance with applicable regulations, levels of competency and training.
Safety audits are used to ensure that:
  • Organizations SMS has a sound structure and adequate staffing levels;
  • Approved procedures and instructions are complied with;
  • The required level of personnel competency and training to operate equipment and facilities,and to maintain their levels of performance, is achieved;
  • Equipment performance is adequate for the safety levels of the service provided;
  • Effective arrangements exist for promoting safety, monitoring safety performance and processing safety issues;
  • Adequate arrangements exist to handle foreseeable emergencies.
Safety audits are carried out by a single individual or a team of people who are competent (adequately qualified, experienced and trained) and have a satisfactory degree of independence from the audited organization or unit. The frequency of the audits depends on the regulatory/management policy. For example some State authorities may conduct annual safety audits; others may consider that a full safety audit is only necessary at a few years interval.

Description of Safety Audit Practice:

Safety audit practice subjects each area of a company’s activity to a systematic critical examination
with the object of minimizing human suffering and monetary loss. Every component of the total systems included, e.g. management policy, attitudes training, features of the process, layout and construction of the plant, operating procedures, emergency plans, personal protection standards, accident records,etc.
An audit, as in the fields of accountancy, aims to disclose the strengths, the weaknesses and the
main areas of vulnerability or risk, and is carried out by appropriately qualified personnel.It is important to ensure that the attitude of all personnel to safety audit practice is positive. It may
need to be pointed out that the reason for the audit is to help the plant management to establish those areas within the plant where additional effort is required to ensure safety at all times. The audit is not there to find fault with the efforts of local manage. The safety audit is an aid to sound, safe, plant management.
Audits will involve plant operatives and review training, work experience, knowledge of procedures,
emergency procedures and other plant operating instructions.
A formal report and action plan is subsequently prepared and monitored

Safety Audit Preparation:

Step One - one week prior to the audit, inform all affected managers and supervisors. They should be directed to have all records, documents and procedures available when the audits starts.
Step Two - Review all past program area audits and corrective action recommendations.
Step Three - Review all company, local, state and federal requirements for the specific program. Become familiar with the document, inspection and training requirements.
Step Four - Determine the scope of the audit. This can be based on accident and inspection reports and input from various managers. Set a start and stop time & date for the audit.

Fact Finding:

A fact finding event is used to gather all applicable information. Auditors should make an effort not to form an opinion or make evaluative comments during this phase.
A Team Approach - If a safety audit team is used, make assignments to each person that defines their area of inspection. Ensure they have the proper program background information and documents.
Safety Audit Areas - most audits can be broken down into these areas:
Employee knowledge – OSHA standards require "effective training" - an effective program ensures that employees have the knowledge required to operate in a safe manner on a daily basis. The level of knowledge required depends on the specific activities in which the employee is involved and their specific duties and responsibilities. Generally, managers and supervisors should have a higher level of knowledge than general employees. This includes practical knowledge of program administration, management and training. They should be able to discuss all elements of each program that affects their assigned employees. Many programs divide employees into these two groups- authorized employees and affected employees. Authorized employees must have a high level of working knowledge involving hazard identification and hazard control procedures. Determining employee level of knowledge can be achieved though written quizzes, formal interviews or informal questions in the workplace.
Written Program Review - during the safety audit, a comprehensive review of the written program should be conducted. This review should compare the company program to requirements for hazard identification and control, required employee training and record keeping against the local, state and federal requirements. Additionally, if applicable, the company insurance carrier should be asked to conduct an independent written program review. Program Administration - This part of the safety audit review checks the implementation and management of specific program requirements. This section asks these and other similar questions:
• Is there an effective and on-going employee training program?
• Are specific duties and responsibilities assigned?
• Are sufficient assets provided?
• Is there an effective and on-going employee training program?
Record & Document Review - Missing or incomplete documents or records is a good indication that a program that is not working as designed. Records are the company's only means of proving that specific regulatory requirements have been met. Record review also includes a look at the results, recommendations and corrective actions from the last program audit.
Equipment and Material - This area of an safety audit inspects the material condition and applicability of the equipment for hazard control in a specific program. Examples of audit questions for this area are:
• Is the equipment in a safe condition?
• Is there adequate equipment to conduct tasks safely?
• Is personal protective equipment used and stored properly?
• Is equipment, such as exit lights, emergency lights, fire extinguishers, material storage and handling equipment designed and staged to control hazards effectively?

Types of Safety Audit

Different types of scaffolding structure in safety

Types of Scaffolds

There are many different types of scaffolds used . The three major categories are:
  • Self-supporting scaffolds
  • Suspension scaffolds
  • Special use scaffolds
Supported scaffolds consist of one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, legs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support. Because frame scaffolds are the most common type of supported scaffold. 
The types of self-supporting scaffolds include:
  • Frame scaffold
  • Manually propelled/ Mobile scaffold
  • Pump jack scaffold
  • Tube coupler scaffold
  • Ladder jack scaffold
  • Pole scaffold
  • Specialty scaffold
Suspended scaffolds are platforms suspended by ropes, or other non-rigid means, from an overhead structure. Because two-point scaffolds are the most common type of suspended scaffold.
  • Single-Point Adjustable scaffold(Boatswain’s Chairs)
  • Two-Point Adjustable scaffold(Swing Stage)
  • Multiple-Point Adjustable scaffold
  • Multi-Level scaffold
  • Catenary scaffold
  • Float (Ship) scaffold
  • Interior Hung scaffold
  • Needle Beam scaffold
Special use scaffolds and assemblies are capable of supporting their own weight and at least 4 times the maximum intended load. The types of special use scaffolds include:
  • Form and Carpenter Bracket
  • Roof Bracket
  • Outrigger
  • Pump Jack
  • Ladder Jack
  • Window Jack
  • Horse
  • Crawling Boards
  • Step, Platforms, and Trestle Ladder

Supported scaffolds:

Supported scaffolds consist of one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, legs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support. Because frame scaffolds are the most common type of supported scaffold.

Frame or Fabricated:

Frame or FabricatedFabricated frame scaffolds are the most common type of scaffold because they are versatile, economical, and easy to use. They are frequently used in one or two tiers by residential contractors, painters, etc., but their modular frames can also be stacked several stories high for use on large-scale construction jobs. NOTE: Except where indicated, the same basic scaffold requirements that appear in this module also apply to manually propelled, pump jack, ladder jack, tube and coupler, and pole scaffolds, as well as the specialty scaffolds described in Supported Scaffolds. Additional requirements for these scaffolds can be found in their respective modules. The number one scaffold hazard is worker falls. Fall protection consists of either personal fall-arrest systems or guardrail systems, and must be provided on any scaffold 10 feet or more above a lower level. Specific requirements are described below.


MobileMobile scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold set on wheels or casters. They are designed to be easily moved and are commonly used for things like painting and plastering, where workers must frequently change position.Scaffolds must be plumb, level, and squared.All brace connections must be secured.To prevent movement of the scaffold while it is being used in a stationary position, scaffold casters and wheels must be locked with positive wheel locks Platforms must not extend beyond the base supports of the scaffold, unless stability is ensured by outrigger frames Leveling of the scaffold, where necessary, must be achieved by the use of screw jacks.

Pump Jack

Pump JackPump jacks are a uniquely designed scaffold consisting of a platform supported by move able brackets on vertical poles. The brackets are designed to be raised and lowered in a manner similar to an automobile jack. Pump jacks are appealing for certain applications because they are easily adjusted to variable heights, and are relatively inexpensive.Pump jack brackets, braces, and accessories must be fabricated from metal plates and angles.Each pump jack bracket must have two positive gripping mechanisms to prevent any failure or slippage. When bracing already installed has to be removed so the pump jack can pass, an additional brace must be installed approximately 4 feet above the original brace before it is removed. The additional brace must be left in place until the pump jack has been moved and the original brace reinstalled.

Tube and Coupler

Tube and CouplerTube and coupler scaffolds are so-named because they are built from tubing connected by coupling devices. Due to their strength, they are frequently used where heavy loads need to be carried, or where multiple platforms must reach several stories high. Their versatility, which enables them to be assembled in multiple directions in a variety of settings, also makes them hard to build correctly. When platforms are being moved to the next level, the existing platform must be left undisturbed until the new bearers have been set in place. Braced before receiving the new platform.The use of couplers made from gray cast iron is prohibited. Tube and coupler scaffolds over 125 feet in height must be designed by a registered professional engineer.

Ladder Jack

Ladder JackA ladder jack scaffold is a simple device consisting of a platform resting on brackets attached to a ladder. Ladder jacks are primarily used in light applications because of their portability and cost effectiveness. All ladders used to support ladder jack scaffolds must comply with-Stairways and Ladders. Ladder jacks must be designed and constructed to bear on the side rails and ladder rungs. Ladders used to support ladder jack scaffolds must be placed to prevent slipping fastened to prevent slipping and or equipped with devices to prevent slipping.

Pole or Wood Pole

Pole or Wood PolePole scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold in which every structural component, from uprights to braces to platforms, is made of wood. OSHA has standards for two kinds: single-pole, which are supported on their interior side by a structure or wall, and double-pole, which are supported by double uprights independent of any structure.Because they have to be built from scratch and cannot easily be reused, pole scaffolds are considered old-fashioned and are rarely used today.When platforms are moved to the next level, the existing platform must be left undisturbed until the new bearers have been set in place and braced. Pole scaffolds over 60 feet in height must be designed by a registered professional engineer.

Specialty and Other Scaffolds

Specialty and Other ScaffoldsMany scaffold types regulated by OSHA standards are rarely used, and designed for a very narrow and specific range of applications. Requirement for these specialty scaffolds are addressed on this page. Scaffolds must not be more than 10 feet or two tiers in height, whichever is less.Scaffold platforms must be placed no higher than the second-highest rung or step of the ladder supporting the platform.

Suspended scaffolds:

Suspended scaffolds are platforms suspended by ropes, or other non-rigid means, from an overhead structure. Because two-point scaffolds are the most common type of suspended scaffold.

Catenary scaffold:

Catenary - image points out the struture above, vertical pickups hanging below the structure, and the platform hanging from the vertical pickups using by hook stops and anchored wire rope
A catenary scaffold is a scaffold consisting of a platform supported by two essentially horizontal and parallel ropes attached to structural members of a building or other structure.Platforms supported by wire rope must have hook-shaped stops on each of the platform to prevent them from slipping off the wire ropes. These hooks must be positioned so that they prevent the platform from falling if one of the horizontal wire ropes breaks. Wire ropes must not be over-tightened to the point that a scaffold load will overstress them. Wire ropes must be continuous and without splices between anchors.Each employee on a catenary scaffold must be protected by a personal fall-arrest system.

Interior Hung

Interior HungAn interior hung suspension scaffold consists of a platform suspended from the ceiling or roof structure by fixed-length supports.Interior hung scaffolds must be suspended from roof structures (e.g., ceiling beams).Roof structures must be inspected for strength before scaffolds are erected.Suspension ropes/cables must be connected to overhead supports by shackles, clips, thimbles, or equivalent means.

Multi-point Adjustable:

Multi-point AdjustableA multi-point adjustable scaffold consists of a platform (or platforms) suspended by more than two ropes from overhead supports and equipped with means to raise and lower the platform(s) to desired work levels. An example of this type of scaffold is a chimney hoist, used in chimney-cleaning operations.Multi-point adjustable scaffolds must be suspended from metal outriggers,brackets,wire rope slings,hooks or means that meet equivalent criteria for strength, durability, etc.When two or more scaffolds are used they must not be bridged together unless design allows them to be connected,bridge connections are articulated and hoists are properly sized.

Single-point Adjustable

Single-point AdjustableA single-point adjustable scaffold consists of a platform suspended by one rope from an overhead support and equipped with means to permit the movement of the platform to desired work levels. The most common among these is the scaffold used by window washers to clean the outside of a skyscraper (also known as a boatswain's chair).The supporting rope between the scaffold and the suspension device must be kept vertical unless designed by a qualified person, accessible to rescuers,protected from rubbing during direction changes.

Float (ship)

Float (ship)A float, or ship, scaffold is a suspension scaffold consisting of a braced platform resting on two parallel bearers and hung from overhead supports by ropes of fixed length.Platforms must be supported by and securely fastened to a minimum of two bearers extending at least 6 inches beyond the platform on both sides.open connections must not allow the platform to shift or slip.When only two ropes are used with each float Ropes must be arranged to provide four ends that are securely fastened to overhead supportsand Each employee on a float (ship) scaffold must be protected by a personal fall-arrest system.


Multi-levelA multi-level scaffold is a two-point or multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold with a series of platforms at various levels resting on common stirrups.Multi-level suspended scaffolds must be equipped with additional independent support lines that are equal in number to the number of points supported,equal in strength to the suspension ropes and rigged to support the scaffold if the suspension ropes fail. Independent support lines and suspension ropes must not be anchored to the same points. Supports for platforms must be attached directly to support stirrups (not to other platforms).

Needle Beam

Needle BeamThis simple type of scaffold consists of a platform suspended from needle beams, usually attached on one end to a permanent structural member. Scaffold support beams must be installed on edge.Ropes or hangers must be used for supports. Ropes must be securely attached to needle beams. Support connections must be arranged to prevent the needle beam from rolling or becoming displaced.Platform units must be attached by bolts or equivalent means. Cleats and overhang are not considered adequate means of attachment.

Two-point (swing stage) Electrical Hazards

Two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds, also known as swing-stage scaffolds, are perhaps the most common type of suspended scaffold. Hung by ropes or cables connected to stirrups at each end of the platform, they are typically used by window washers on skyscrapers, but play a prominent role in high-rise construction as well. The safe use of a suspended scaffold begins with secure anchorage. The weight of the scaffold and its occupants must be supported by both the structure to which it is attached and by each of the scaffold components that make up the anchorage system.Adjustable suspension scaffolds are designed to be raised and lowered while occupied by workers and materials, and must be capable of bearing their load whether stationary or in motion.Because the platform is the work area of a suspended scaffold, an inspection requires safety checks of both the platform structure and how the platform is used by the workers. Even if a suspended scaffold has been assembled in compliance with every applicable standard, employers and workers must continue to exercise caution and use sound work practices to assure their safety. Extreme weather, excessive loads, or damage to structural components can all affect a scaffold's stability.

Scaffolding Safety

Scaffolding Safety


Every year nearly 100 fatalities and 10,000 injuries occur world over on scaffolds despite numerous safety regulations aimed to prevent such incidents. If you work on scaffolding, you must be able to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold you are using, and know what to do when you recognize something that just isn’t safe. There are a number of different scaffold types, having different rules and regulations surrounding their assembly, fall protection requirements, & inspection procedures.
An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65% of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents would prevent 4,500 injuries & 75 deaths every year, at a savings for employers of $90 million in workdays not lost. In a recent BLS study, seventy-two percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object. All of these can be controlled by compliance with Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996 and Central Rules, 1998.


scaffold is a temporary structure specifically erected to support access or working platforms. Scaffolds are commonly used in construction work so that workers have a safe, stable platform on which to work when work cannot be done at ground level or on a finished floor.
Scaffolds, once properly erected, are a control measure to prevent the risk of persons and objects falling when working at height.
Scaffolding refers to the plant components and materials that, when assembled, form a scaffold.
Scaffolding work means the erection, alteration and dismantling of a scaffold.
Scaffolding work that involves scaffold from which a person or object could fall more than four meters is classified as ‘high risk work’ under the WHS Regulations for which a license is required.

Risk with scaffolds :

Some examples of the hazards associated with work involving the erection, use, maintenance, alteration and dismantling of scaffolds include:
  • scaffolding collapse (before, during and after placement of the scaffold)
  • manual tasks.
  • work near overhead electric lines
  • mobile plant and other workplace traffic
  • mixing components from different scaffold systems (for example, do not mix aluminum tubing with steel tubing)
  • falls from heights
  • falling objects

Assessing the risks

When assessing risks relating to scaffolds you should consider things such as:
  • the type of scaffold to be used
  • the height of the scaffold to be erected
  • the scheduling of the scaffolding work
  • the layout of the workplace, including proximity to public areas
  • the surface on which the scaffold will be erected (ground conditions, the structural integrity of the surface to support the scaffold and its load)
  • the number of people involved
  • plant and equipment that will be used on or near the scaffold
  • the skill and competencies required to erect, use, maintain, alter and dismantle the scaffold
  • what exposures might occur, such as noise or ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • local weather conditions, particularly wind forces.

Controlling the risks

The ways of controlling risks are ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest. This ranking is known as the hierarchy of control measures. The duty holder must always aim to eliminate a hazard first. If this is not reasonably practicable, the risk must be minimized by using one or more of the following:
  • Substitution – for example:
  • use mechanical aids such as cranes, hoists, pallet jacks or trolleys to move equipment and materials wherever possible instead of manual lifting.
  • use scaffold systems which are made of lighter weight materials and use modern technologies, for example, modular systems which have shorter standard lengths or systems that are made of aluminum rather than steel or timber
  • Isolation – for exampleuse concrete barriers to separate pedestrians and powered mobile plant to reduce the risk of collision.
  • Engineering controls – for exampleprovide a catch platform to prevent falling objects hitting workers or other persons below the work area.
If risk remains it must be minimized by implementing administrative controls, so far as is reasonably practicable. For example store scaffolding components as close as practical to the work area in order to minimize the distance over which loads are manually moved. Clear access ways should also be ensured so that materials and equipment can be easily accessed.
 Any remaining risk must be minimized with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as providing workers with hard hats, hearing protectors and high visibility vests.

Installation and Removal of Shoring and shielding in Excavation safety Training

Shoring and shielding:

Shoring and shielding systems can prevent cave-ins in excavations with or without sloped / benched faces. The safest way to install and remove them is from outside the excavation.
The shoring (temporary support structure) must be designed to withstand allexternal forces that may be caused by:
  • soil pressures
  • water pressures
  • nearby structures
  • additional loadings and vibrations (heavy equipment, traffic, temporary piled materials near the excavation, etc.)
Shores are vertical or horizontal supports that prevent the faces of an excavation from collapsing. Vertical shores are called uprights. They’re easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and often used in stable soil or in shallow excavations that have parallel faces. Vertical shores must be sized for the excavation’s dimensions and soil type.
Horizontal shores are called walers. Walers are often used when unstable soil makes sloping or benching impractical and when sheeting is necessary to prevent soil from sliding into the excavation.
Shields provide employees a safe work area by protecting them from collapsing soil. Shields don’t prevent cave-ins but “shield” workers if a face does collapse. They are usually placed in the excavation by heavy equipment.

Installation of Shoring:

When installing shoring within a trench type excavation, appropriate procedures must be followed to provide for a safe excavation.
Uprights, struts (screw jacks), wales and plywood must be installed according to the shoring table that is based on the soil conditions, depth and width of the trench and excavation.
When installing shoring, the bucket of the excavation machine must be placed in the trench directly in front of the shoring being installed. The bucket will serve as additional protection if a cave-in occurs.
An appropriate ladder must be provided in a trench or open excavation. The ladder must extend at least one metre (three feet) above ground level at the surface of the excavation and be within three metres (10 feet) of a worker's working position inside the excavation.
Shoring struts/jacks must be installed from the top down. It is important that the top (first) strut/jack is placed approximately 0.5 metres (18 inches) below the surface, and the second strut/jack is placed according to the shoring table. Installing the first and second strut/jacks is necessary to support the vertical uprights that stabilize the excavation walls.
When plywood is used as sheathing material, the jacks must be placed on the uprights that support the plywood. Jacks or struts must never be installed directly on to the plywood. If the walls move, the jack or strut could push through the plywood.
Once the worker has at least two struts/jacks placed on each set of uprights, the worker can proceed to install the bottom strut/jack. There must never be less than two struts/jacks used on each set of shoring.
This procedure must be followed with each set of shoring. This method protects the worker with the bucket of the digging machine and the shoring already
Shoring and shielding systems are available from manufacturers in a variety of dimensions, usually aluminum or steel, or they can be custom-built from tabulated data approved by a registered professionalengineer. Manufacturers will also provide tabulated data with their systems that includes engineering specifications, depth ratings, special instructions, and system limitations.

Shoring Removal:

The procedure to remove shoring is the opposite of the procedure for installation. Struts are removed in the opposite order that they were installed. There must never be less than two sets of uprights in place. Workers removing the shoring must always stay between the shoring in place for protection.
Prior to removing a strut or jack, the trench should be back filled to a depth equal to the elevation of the strut or jack being removed. This back filling procedure shall be performed prior to removal of each strut or jack.
Sequence for the Installation and Removal of Shoring

SHIELDS ( trench boxes ):

Shields, otherwise known as trench boxes, are generally used in open areas, but also may be
used in combination with battering and benching.
The excavated area between the outside of the trench box and the face of the trench should be as small as possible. The space between the trench box and the excavation side must be backfilled to prevent lateral movement of the box. Shields MUST not be subjected to loads exceeding those which the system was designed to withstand.
Shields can be used in the four different trenching situations indicated below:
(1) The shield rests on the excavation bottom and extends above the surface.

(2) The trench is narrowed and the shield is supported. When this method is used the shield must be tightly wedged into the trench.

(3) The top of a shield in a slope battered trench shall  be a minimum of 0.5 metres above the ground level.

(4) When an undersized shield is used, thetop of the trench SHALL be stabilised by battering. The maximum height of the battering SHALL be a maximum of 1.0 metre.

  • Shields SHALL only be installed by a worker holding a current certificate of competency under the Lifts and Cranes Act.
  • Heavy equipment SHALL always be used to place the box or shield in the trench.If there is sloping toward the
  • excavation/trench, the trench box must extend at least 0.5 metres (18 inches) above the surrounding area. This can be done by providing a benched area adjacent to the box.
  • Any modifications to the shields must be approved by the manufacturer.
  • Workers SHALL only enter and leave the shield by using a ladder.
  • Trench boxes may ride 0.6 metres (2 feet) above the bottom of an excavation, provided they are calculated to support the full depth of the excavation and there is no caving under or behind the shield.
  • When shields are used as the only means of ensuring safety in the trench, workers SHALL NOT
          (1) enter the excavation/trench before the shield has been installed
          (2) work inside the trench, outside of the protection of the shield
          (3) enter the excavation/trench after the shield has been removed
  • Workers SHALL NOT remain in the shield while it is being moved.


  • The competent person SHALL check the work site and adjacent areas for the presence of aerial conductors.
  • If aerial conductors are present and there is a possibility that the workers or plant will come within 10 metres of the conductors, the owner of the power supply/ electrical apparatus must be contacted to determine the nominal voltage.
  • All conductors SHALL be considered to be alive and uninsulated.
  • A trained safety observer SHALL be present and observing the work being carried out when there is a situation that any part of the plant being used for theexcavation/trenching work or load being delivered to the work site COULD enter the exclusion zone. eg 3 metres.
  • The excavation equipment while the minimum clearances are maintained.
  • If the excavation equipment is to be operated within the ‘no-go’ exclusion zone, work SHALL NOT commence until (1) the owner of the power supply/electrical apparatus is informed in writing of the nature and duration of the intended work and (2) written permission is received from the owner of the power supply/ electrical apparatus. A copy of these documents SHALL be kept on file.
  • The workers must not allow any part of their body or any hand held tools within the ‘no-go’ exclusion zone.

Stability and adjacent structures:

Make sure that structures, roadways, and sidewalks adjacent to the excavation are adequately supported.
  • Use an appropriate support system – such as shoring or bracing – if the excavation could affect the stability of nearby buildings, sidewalks, and roads.
  • Don’t excavate below the base or footing of any foundation that might endanger employees unless you do one of the following:
  • Use a support system that protects employees and keeps the structure stable.
  • Ensure that the excavation is in stable rock.
  • Have a registered professional engineer determine that the structure will not be affected by the excavation work.
  • Have a registered professional engineer determine that the excavation work will not endanger employees.

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