engineered scaffolding

engineered scaffolding

Engineering scaffolding requirements as well as its use falls under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the government agency responsible for overseeing workers' on-the-job safety. Scaffolding involves a common practice of building temporary working structures during construction or repair of buildings or industrial structures. The engineering design and assembly of scaffolds is closely monitored and must be done correctly to ensure safe working conditions. Scaffolds are modular systems comprised of pipes and planking that allow workers safe access to higher elevations.

Ladders and Guardrails

Scaffolds must be equipped with proper access and may include dual access as necessary. Access ladders must extend beyond the deck and if the scaffold is excessively high, usually a ladder break and rest deck are required. Swing gates are also required for any scaffolds over a certain height determined by the user. All scaffolds, regardless of height, must be equipped with secure handrails and guardrails on all open sides.

Planks and Footings

Scaffolding equipment must be kept in good condition at all times. Defective scaffolding planks, decking, clamps and footings should be taken out of service and repaired or replaced. To prevent damage due to exposure, it is recommended that all scaffold planks be stored in a dry condition, protected from the weather. Toe boards are usually required on all scaffolds and run from leg to leg across the ends of boards secured to the vertical structures. Toe boards should be capable of withstanding applied downward or horizontal force to prevent falling debris.

Inspection and Safety

Since work on scaffolds is done high above the ground, safety and inspection is crucial to keep accidents from occurring. When erecting scaffolds in a congested area, barricade tape should be used to keep other workers away from dangerous areas. The clearance between scaffolds and power lines should be determined in advance of installation. Scaffolds should not be erected, used, dismantled, altered, or moved in such a way as to cause exposure to conductive materials or energized power lines. Scaffolds should be regularly inspected and have inspection tags secured to the structure. Inspections tags should indicate the date of erection, inspection date and time, scaffold duty rating and any restrictions or warnings.



engineered scaffolding

What should you check before using scaffold?

Install, inspect, maintain and repair scaffolding in accordance with standards, regulations, and manufacturer's instructions.

Check the following before using scaffolding and inspect on an adequate basis:

  • the base is sound, level and adjusted,

  • legs are plumb and all braces are in place,

  • locking devices and ties are secured,

  • cross members are level,

  • planks are of the proper grade(s) of lumber and have no weak areas, deterioration, or cracks.

  • planks, decks and guardrails are installed and secure,

  • keep a log of inspections and related items or repairs.

What should you do when using scaffold?

  • Make sure all platforms above 2.4 metres (8 feet) are fully decked or at the height required by your jurisdiction.

  • Use an access ladder, not the scaffold frame, unless it is specially designed to be climbed. Build a staircase if the scaffold will be used for a length of time.

  • Build a rest platform for every 10 m (30 ft) in height beside the ladder.

  • Remove snow and ice from scaffold platforms, ladders and access areas.

  • Ensure that scaffold is securely attached to the building structure. Check requirements in the legislation applicable to your jurisdiction.

  • Provide adequate ventilation for the work done inside the scaffold if the scaffold is completely hoarded. Note also that effects from winds increase when scaffolds are covered (hoarded).

  • Make sure scaffold planks are in good condition and are cleated properly.

  • Make sure the planks have an appropriate amount of overhang – too much and the planks may tip, and too little and the planks may slip off.

  • Use all of the components required, including base plates, connections, braces, and securing devices (e.g., “banana” clips, “pig tails”, tie-ins, etc.)

  • Protect all planked or working levels with proper guardrails, mid rails and toe boards along all open sides and at the ends of scaffold platforms.

  • Replace any guardrails that were removed while hoisting materials. Wear fall protection until guardrails are reinstalled.

What should you not do when using scaffold?

  • Do not use a scaffold without guardrails.

  • Do not load in excess of its rated working load.

  • Do not jump on planks or platforms.

  • Do not force braces to fit. Level the scaffold until a proper fit can be made easily.

  • Do not climb or stand on cross braces or guardrails.

  • Do not work on scaffolds during storms or high winds.

  • Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase height.

  • Do not overload scaffold frames or platforms.

  • Do not load in a way that affects its stability.

  • Do not rest materials or equipment on guardrails.

  • Do not try to repair bent or kinked frames. Throw them out.

  • Do not work below a scaffold without head protection.

  • Do not roll a scaffold while workers are on th


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