For Frame Scaffolds, System Scaffolds, Tube and Clamp Scaffolds and Rolling Scaffolds
DEVELOPED FOR THE INDUSTRY
BY SCAFFOLD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, INC. (SIA) and THE SCAFFOLD, SHORING & FORMING INSTITUTE (SSFI)
It shall be the responsibility of all users to read and comply with the following common sense guidelines which are designed to promote safety in the erecting, dismantling and use of Scaffolds. These guidelines do not purport to be all-inclusive nor to supplant or replace other additional safety and precautionary measures to cover usual or unusual conditions. If these guidelines in any way conflict with any state, local, provincial, federal or other government statute or regulation, said statute or regulation shall supersede these guidelines and it shall be the responsibility of each user to comply therewith.
I. GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Post these scaffolding safety guidelines in a conspicuous place and be sure that all persons who erect, dismantle or use scaffolding are aware of them, and also use them in tool box safety meetings.
- Follow all state, local and federal codes, ordinances and regulations pertaining to scaffolding.
- Survey the job site. A survey shall be made of the job site by a competent person for hazards, such as untamped earth fills, ditches, debris, high tension wires, unguarded openings, and other hazardous conditions created by other trades. These conditions should be corrected or avoided as noted in the following sections.
- Inspect all equipment before using. Never use any equipment that is damaged or defective in any way. Mark it or tag it as defective. Remove it from the job site.
- Scaffolds must be erected in accordance with design and/or manufacturers’ recommendations.
- Do not erect, dismantle or alter a scaffold unless under the supervision of a competent person.
- Do not abuse or misuse the scaffold equipment.
- Erected scaffolds should be continually inspected by users to be sure that they are maintained in safe condition. Report any unsafe condition to your supervisor.
- Never take chances! If in doubt regarding the safety or use of the scaffold, consult your scaffold supplier.
- Never use equipment for purposes or in ways for which it was not intended.
- Do not work on scaffolds if your physical condition is such that you feel dizzy or unsteady in any way.
- Do not work under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
II. GUIDELINES FOR ERECTION AND USE OF SCAFFOLDS
- Scaffold base must be set on an adequate sill or pad to prevent slipping or sinking and fixed thereto where required.
Any part of a building or structure used to support the scaffold shall be capable of supporting the maximum intended load to be applied.
- Use adjusting screws or other approved methods instead of blocking to adjust to uneven grade conditions.
- Bracing, leveling & plumbing of frame scaffolds –
- Plumb and level all scaffolds as the erection proceeds. Do not force frames or braces to fit. Level the scaffold until proper fit can easily be made.
- Each frame or panel shall be braced by horizontal bracing, cross bracing, diagonal bracing or any combination thereof for securing vertical members together laterally. All brace connections shall be made secure, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Bracing, leveling & plumbing of tube & clamp and system scaffolds –
- Posts shall be erected plumb in all directions, with the first level of runners and bearers positioned as close to the base as feasible. The distance between bearers and runners shall not exceed manufacturer’s recommended procedures.
- Plumb, level and tie all scaffolds as erection proceeds.
- Fasten all couplers and/or connections securely before assembly of next level.
- Vertical and/or horizontal diagonal bracing must be installed according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Tie continuous (running) scaffolds to the wall or structure at each end and at least every 30 feet of length when scaffold height exceeds the maximum allowable free standing dimension. Begin ties or stabilizers when the scaffold height exceeds that dimension, and repeat at vertical intervals not greater than 26 feet. The top anchor shall be placed no lower than four (4) times the base dimension from the top of the completed scaffold. Anchors must prevent scaffold from tipping into or away from wall or structure. Stabilize circular or irregular scaffolds in such a manner that completed scaffold is secure and restrained from tipping. When scaffolds are partially or fully enclosed or subjected to overturning loads, specific precautions shall be taken to insure the frequency and accuracy of ties to the wall and structure. Due to increased loads resulting from wind or overturning loads the scaffolding component to which ties are subjected shall be checked for additional loads.
- When free standing scaffold towers exceed four (4) times their minimum base dimensions vertically, they must be restrained from tipping. (CAL/OSHA and some government agencies require stricter ratio of 3 to 1.)
- Do not erect scaffolds near electrical power lines unless proper precautions are taken. Consult the power service company for advice.
- A means of access to all platforms shall be provided.
- Do no use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase the height.
- Provide guardrails and mid-rails at each working platform level where open sides and ends exist, and toeboards where required by code.
- Brackets and cantilevered platforms –
- Brackets for System Scaffolds shall be installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Brackets for Frame Scaffolds shall be seated correctly with side bracket parallel to the frames and end brackets at 90 degrees to the frames. Brackets shall not be bent or twisted from normal position. Brackets (except mobile brackets designed to carry materials) are to be used as work platforms only and shall not be used for storage of material or equipment.
- Cantilevered platforms shall be designed, installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
- All scaffolding components shall be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended procedure.
- Components shall not be altered in the field.
- Scaffold frames and their components manufactured by different companies shall not be intermixed, unless the component parts readily fit together and the resulting scaffold’s structural integrity is maintained by the user.
- Planking –
- Working platforms shall cover scaffold bearer as completely as possible. Only scaffold grade wood planking, or fabricated planking and decking meeting scaffold use requirements shall be used.
- Check each plank prior to use to be sure plank is not warped, damaged, or otherwise unsafe.
- Planking shall have at least 12” overlap and extend 6” beyond center of support, or be cleated or restrained at both ends to prevent sliding off supports.
- Solid sawn lumber, LVL (laminated veneer lumber) or fabricated scaffold planks and platforms (unless cleated or restrained) shall extend over their end supports not less than 6” nor more than 18”. This overhang should not be used as a work platform.
- For “putlogs” and “trusses” the following additional guidelines apply:
- Do not cantilever or extend putlogs/trusses as side brackets without thorough consideration for loads to be applied.
- Putlogs/trusses should be extended at least 6” beyond point of support.
- Place recommended bracing between putlogs/trusses when the span of putlog/truss is more than 12 feet.
- For rolling scaffolds the following additional guidelines apply:
- Riding a rolling scaffold is very hazardous. The Scaffold Industry Association does not recommend nor encourage this practice. However, if you choose to do so, be sure to follow all state, federal or other governmental guidelines.
- Casters with plain stems shall be attached to the panel or adjustment screw by pins or other suitable means.
- No more than 12 inches of the screw jack shall extend between the bottom of the adjusting nut and the top of the caster.
- Wheels or casters shall be provided with a locking means to prevent caster rotation and scaffold movement and kept locked.
- Joints shall be restrained from separation.
- Use horizontal diagonal bracing near the bottom and at 20 foot intervals measured from the rolling surface.
- Do not use brackets or other platform extensions without compensating for the overturning effect.
- The platform height of a rolling scaffold must not exceed four (4) times the smallest base dimension (CAL/OSHA and some government agencies require a stricter ratio of 3 to 1).
- Cleat or secure all plank.
- Secure or remove all materials and equipment from platform before moving.
- Do not attempt to move a rolling scaffold without sufficient help – watch out for holes in floor and overhead obstructions – stabilize against tipping.
- Safe use of scaffold –
- Prior to use, inspect scaffold to insure it has not been altered and is in safe working condition.
- Erected scaffolds and platforms should be inspected continuously by those using them.
- Exercise caution when entering or leaving a work platform.
- Do not overload scaffold. Follow manufacturer’s safe working load recommendations.
- Do not jump onto planks or platforms.
- Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of working platforms to increase the height or provide access from above.
- Climb in access areas only and use both hands.
III. WHEN DISMANTLING SCAFFOLDING THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES APPLY:
- Check to assure scaffolding has not been structurally altered in a way which would make it unsafe and, if it has, reconstruct where necessary before commencing with dismantling procedures. This includes all scaffold ties.
- Visually inspect plank prior to dismantling to be sure they are safe.
- Consideration must be given as to the effect removal of a component will have on the rest of the scaffold prior to that component’s removal.
- Do not accumulate excess components or equipment on the level being dismantled.
- Do not remove ties until scaffold above has been removed (dismantled).
- Lower dismantled components in an orderly manner. Do not throw off of scaffold.
- Dismantled equipment should be stockpiled in an orderly manner.
- FOLLOW ERECTION PROCEDURES AND USE MANUALS.
These safety guidelines (Codes of Safe Practice) set forth common sense procedures for safely erecting, dismantling and using scaffolding equipment. However, equipment and scaffolding systems differ, and accordingly, reference must always be made to the instructions and procedures of the supplier and/or manufacturer of the equipment.
Since field conditions vary and are beyond the control of the Scaffold Industry Association, safe and proper use of scaffolding is the sole responsibility of the user.
In 1998, OSHA published their new scaffold standard. Entitled 29 CFR Part 1926 Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry; Final Rule.