Scaffolding is widely used during construction and renovation activities. In its simplest form, a scaffold is any temporary elevated or suspended work surface used to support workers and/or materials. There are many types of scaffolds, both supported and suspended. Included here are general requirements for all scaffolds. Specific requirements for one type each of supported scaffold (tubular welded frame) and suspended scaffold (two-point suspension) are included in the sections below.
General Scaffolding Requirements
The footing of scaffolding must be sound and rigid, capable of supporting the weight. Scaffolding must not be placed on unstable objects, such as bricks or blocks.
Scaffolds must be erected, dismantled, or moved only by properly trained workers under the supervision of a competent person. A competent person is one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are hazardous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them. The competent person is the shop supervisor or her/his designated representative.
Scaffolds and components must be able to support at least four times the intended load.
Standard guardrails (e.g., handrail and midrail) and toeboards must be provided for all open sides of the scaffolding that are ten (10) feet or more above the surrounding surfaces.
Cross bracing is not acceptable as an entire guardrail system but is acceptable for a toprail when the crossing point of the two braces is between 38 inches (0.9 meters) and 48 inches (1.3 meters) above the work platform and for midrails when between 20 inches (0.5 meters) and 30 inches (0.8 meters) above the work platform. The end points of the cross bracing must be no more than 48 inches (1.3 meters) apart vertically.
To protect against falling objects, screens must be installed between the toeboard and midrail if anyone is required to pass under the scaffolding.
Any damaged or weakened component of a scaffold must be repaired or replaced immediately.
All planking or platforms must be overlapped a minimum of twelve (12) inches and secured from movement. Scaffold planks shall extend over their end support at least six (6) inches but no more than twelve (12) inches.
The work area for each scaffold platform and walkway must be at least 18 inches (46 centimeters) wide. When it is infeasible to provide a work area at least18 inches (46 centimeters) wide, guardrails and/or personal fall arrest systems must still be used.
A ladder or other safe means of access must be provided.
Access must be provided when the scaffold platforms are more than 2 feet (0.6 m) above or below a point of access. Direct access is acceptable when the scaffold is not more than 14 inches (36 centimeters) horizontally and not more than 24 inches (61 centimeters) vertically from the other surfaces. Cross braces shall not be used as a means of access.
Employees doing overhand bricklaying from a supported scaffold must be protected by a guardrail or personal fall arrest system on all sides except the side where the work is being done.