1926.451(f) Use

Make sure that a competent person inspects the scaffold before each work shift.

  • If during the inspection a defect or damage to the scaffold is discovered, the scaffold must be tagged out and not used until repairs are made.
  • Attach tags at the access point to the scaffold.
  • One common tagging system uses the following tags: red tag indicates: unsafe, do not use! Green tag indicates ready to use!

Use scaffolds according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Never load a scaffold beyond its maximum intended load or rated capacity.
  • Do not use makeshift methods to increase the working height of the scaffold platform, such as with ladders, buckets, or blocks.

Scaffolds and scaffold components shall be inspected for visible defects by a competent person before each work shift, and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold’s structural integrity.

caution sign for scaffolding

Any part of a scaffold damaged or weakened such that its strength is less than that required per the standard shall be immediately repaired or replaced, braced to meet those provisions, or removed from service until repaired.

Scaffolds shall not be moved horizontally while employees are on them, unless they have been designed by a registered professional engineer specifically for such movement or, for mobile scaffolds, where the provisions of §1926.452(w) are followed.

The clearance between scaffolds and power lines shall be as follows: Scaffolds shall not be erected, used, dismantled, altered, or moved such that they or any conductive material handled on them might come closer to exposed and energized power lines.

Scaffolds and materials may be closer to power lines than specified above where such clearance is necessary for performance of work, and only after the utility company, or electrical system operator, has been company, or electrical system operator, has deenergized the lines, relocated the lines, or installed protective coverings to prevent accidental contact with the lines.

Scaffolds shall be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person qualified in scaffold erection, moving, dismantling or alteration. Such activities shall be performed only by experienced and trained employees selected for such work by the competent person.

Employees shall be prohibited from working on scaffolds covered with snow, ice, or other slippery material except as necessary for removal of such materials.

Where swinging loads are being hoisted onto or near scaffolds such that the loads might contact the scaffold, tag lines or equivalent measures to control the loads shall be used.

Suspension ropes supporting adjustable suspension scaffolds shall be of a diameter large enough to provide sufficient surface area for the functioning of brake and hoist mechanisms.

Suspension ropes shall be shielded from heat-producing processes. When acids or other corrosive substances are used on a scaffold, the ropes shall be shielded, treated to protect against the corrosive substances, or shall be of a material that will not be damaged by the substance being used.

Work on or from scaffolds is prohibited during storms or high winds unless a competent person has determined that it is safe for employees to be on the scaffold and those employees are protected by a personal fall arrest system or wind screens. Wind screens shall not be used unless the scaffold is secured against the anticipated wind forces imposed.

Debris shall not be allowed to accumulate on platforms.

Makeshift devices, such as but not limited to boxes and barrels, shall not be used on top of scaffold platforms to increase the working level height of employees.

Ladders shall not be used on scaffolds to increase the working level height of employees, except on large area scaffolds where employers have satisfied the following criteria:

  • When the ladder is placed against a structure which is not a part of the scaffold, the scaffold shall be secured against the sideways thrust exerted by the ladder.
  • The platform units shall be secured to the scaffold to prevent their movement.
  • The ladder legs shall be on the same platform or other means shall be provided to stabilize the ladder against unequal platform deflection.
  • The ladder legs shall be secured to prevent them from slipping or being pushed off the platform.

Platforms shall not deflect more than 1/60 of the span when loaded.

To reduce the possibility of welding current arcing through the suspension wire rope when performing welding from suspended scaffolds, the following precautions shall be taken, as applicable:

  • An insulated thimble shall be used to attach each suspension wire rope to its hanging support (such as cornice hook or outrigger). Excess suspension wire rope and any additional independent lines from grounding shall be insulated.
  • The suspension wire rope shall be covered with insulating material extending at least 4 feet (1.2 m) above the hoist. If there is a tail line below the hoist, it shall be insulated to prevent contact with the platform. The portion of the tail line that hangs free below the scaffold shall be guided or retained, or both, so that it does not become grounded.

Each hoist shall be covered with insulated protective covers.

In addition to a work lead attachment required by the welding process, a grounding conductor shall be connected from the scaffold to the structure. The size of this conductor shall be at least the size of the welding process work lead, and this conductor shall not be in series with the welding process or the work piece If the scaffold grounding lead is disconnected at any time, the welding machine shall be shut off and an active welding rod or uninsulated welding lead shall not be allowed to contact the scaffold or its suspension system.

Shore and lean-to scaffolds are strictly prohibited!