Workplace Safety Guides

   Safety When Raising Walls


Many workers are seriously injured or killed while raising walls. A sudden gust of wind may push a wall over or if someone slips during a manual raising process, the wall can fall back onto the workers. Good preplanning will lead to a safe process. Be sure you have enough help and good methods in place before raising any walls. Be sure to use proper lifting techniques to prevent back injuries. Bend your knees and keep your back straight.

Once the wall is raised, be sure that the wall is securely braced. The use of pneumatic nail guns or staplers results in a large number of injuries to workers each year. Workers must be trained in the safe use and the potential hazards and falls when using these tools. Operators and any other workers exposed to nail gun operations need to wear eye protection. Never point the nail gun at anyone. Never carry the nail gun with the finger on the trigger.

Rolling trusses always presents a fall protection challenge. Placing walkways along the interior of the outside walls, allows workers to avoid walking on the outside top plates while rolling trusses. Top plate scaffold brackets are available commercially. These brackets hang over the top plate. They have a vertical member which rests against the stud, a horizontal member for the planks to sit on and an upright to prevent the planks from slipping.

These walkways may be built onsite but must need scaffold requirements including supporting four times the intended load and a minimum platform width of at least 18 inches.

Work can be performed with reasonable protection from falling by working from the interior scaffold walkways down both sides of the building. Trusses can be rolled into place, braced and blocked while working from the walkway. Where walkways must span open ceiling areas and stairwells at elevations ten feet or higher, workers must be protected from the fall hazard. Here guardrails have been installed. The gables and trusses need to be braced. This provides strength and prevents tipping. Follow the truss manufacturer's recommendations for bracing.

Fall protection anchors can be installed on the trusses before rolling or standing them. Be sure to follow manufacturer's recommendations and your company's fall protection workplan for the selection and placement of anchors.

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