CODE OF SAFE PRACTICES
FRAME SCAFFOLDS, SYSTEM SCAFFOLDS,
TUBE AND CLAMP SCAFFOLDS & ROLLING SCAFFOLDS
DEVELOPED FOR INDUSTRY BY
SCAFFOLD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, INC.
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
not 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, federal or other government
statute or regulation, said statute or regulation should supersede these
guidelines and it shall be the responsibility of each user to comply
- 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.
- 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 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 avoided as noted in the following
- INSPECT ALL EQUIPMENT BEFORE USING. Never
use any equipment that is damaged or defective in any way.
Remove it from the job site.
- SCAFFOLDS MUST BE ERECTED IN ACCORDANCE
WITH DESIGN AND/OR MANUFACTURERS’ RECOMMENDATIONS.
- DO NOT ERECT, DISMANTLY OR ALTER A SCAFFOLD
unless under the supervision of a qualified 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
- 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
- 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 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, & PLUMING OF FRAME
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
BRACING, LEVELING, & PLUMING OF TUBE &
CLAMP AND SYSTEM SCAFFOLDS –
POST 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 CONNNECTIONS
securely before assemble of next level.
VERTICAL AND/OR HORIZONTAL DIAGONAL
BRACING MUST BE ISNTALLED according to manufacturer’s
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 dimension 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
DO NOT 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
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
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.
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
Check each plank prior to use to
be sure plank is not warped, damaged, or otherwise
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 then 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
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 adjustments 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
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
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 height or
provide access from above.
Climb in access areas only and USE
WHEN DISMANTLING SCAFFOLDING THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL
- 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
- 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 (Code 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
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.
*Permission to reproduce may be obtained
from: Scaffold Industry Association, Inc.
Reprinting of this document does not
imply membership in the Scaffold Industry Association, Inc.