This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: May 2014

(OSHA 1910.28)

Scaffolds shall be furnished and erected in accordance with the OSHA 1910.28 standard for employees who are engaged in work that cannot be done safely from the ground or from solid construction. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that all safe work practices are followed when erecting, altering, working on, and dismantling scaffolds. It is the intent of the University to provide maximum protection to all employees by the issuance of these requirements.
These requirements are to apply to all employees that work on scaffold work surfaces. All scaffolds erected on University property shall be erected in accordance with the requirements of this section and all OSHA regulations that apply to the specific type of scaffolding that is being used.
The footing or anchorage for scaffolds shall be sound, rigid, and capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or displacement. Unstable objects such as barrels, boxes, loose brick, or concrete blocks, shall not be used to support scaffolds or planks.

No scaffold shall be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered except under the supervision of a competent person(s) or as requested for corrective reasons by the environment, health and safety specialist. Scaffolds shall not be altered or moved horizontally while they are in use or occupied.

Any scaffold damaged or weakened from any cause shall be immediately repaired. Damaged or weakened scaffolds shall not be used until all repairs have been completed. Guardrails and toe boards shall be installed on all open sides and ends of platforms more than 10 feet above the ground or floor, except where needle beam scaffolds and floats are used. Scaffolds 4 feet to 10 feet in height having a minimum horizontal dimension in either direction of less than 45 inches, shall have standard guardrails installed on all open sides and ends of the platform.

Guardrails must be 2 X 4 inches, or the equivalent, approximately 42 inches high, with a midrail, when required. Supports must be at intervals not to exceed 8 feet. Toe boards and the guardrails, extending along the entire opening, shall consisting of No. 18 gauge U.S. standard wire ½ inch mesh, or the equivalent. (Repeated below.)

Scaffolds and their components must be capable of supporting without failure at least 4 times the maximum intended load.

Any scaffold including accessories such as braces, brackets, trusses, screw legs, ladders, etc., damaged or weakened from any cause must be immediately repaired or replaced.

All load-carrying timber members of scaffold framing shall be a minimum of 1,500 fiber (Stress Grade) construction grade lumber.

All planking must be Scaffold Grades, or equivalent, as recognized by approved grading rules for the species of wood used. The maximum permissible span for 2 X 10 inch or wider planks is shown on the “Material” tab.

Attribute Full Thickness Undressed Lumber Nominal Thickness Lumber
Working Load (p.s.f.) 25 50 75 25 50
Permissible Span (ft.) 10 8 6 8 6

The maximum permissible span for 1¼ X 9 inch or wider plank of full thickness shall be 4 feet with medium duty loading of 50 p.s.f.

All planking or platforms must be overlapped (minimum 12 inches), or secured from movement.

An access ladder or equivalent safe access must be provided.

Scaffold planks must extend over their end supports not less than 6 inches and not more than 18 inches.

The poles, legs, or uprights of scaffolds must be plumb, and securely and rigidly braced to prevent swaying and displacement.

Overhead protection must be provided for employees on a scaffold exposed to overhead hazards.

Where persons are required to work or pass under the scaffolds, the scaffold shall be provided with a screen between the toeboard and the guardrail, extending along the entire opening, consisting of No. 18 gauge U.S. Standard Wire one-half-inch mesh or the equivalent.

Employees are restricted from working on scaffolds during storms and/or high winds.

Slippery conditions on scaffolds shall be eliminated immediately after they occur.

**Employees shall not work on scaffolds which are covered with ice or snow, unless all ice or snow is removed and planking sanded to prevent slipping.

Tools, materials, and debris must be stored on the scaffold in such a way that they do not pose a hazard to the employee or others.

No welding, burning, riveting or open flame work shall be performed on any staging suspended by means of fiber or synthetic rope. Only treated or protected fiber or synthetic ropes shall be used for or near any work involving the use of corrosive substances or chemicals. (Repeated below, w/o synthetic.)

Only treated or protected fiber rope shall be used for or near any work involving the use of corrosive substances or chemicals.

Wire or fiber rope used for scaffold suspension shall be capable of supporting at least 6 times the intended load.

Special precautions shall be taken to protect scaffold members, including any wire or fiber ropes, when using a heat-producing process.

The use of shore scaffolds or lean-to scaffolds is prohibited.

Lumber

All lumber used in constructing ramps, platforms, staging, scaffolding, etc., must be of good quality, seasoned and straight grained, free of large loose or dead knots and knots in groups, checks, splits and other defects which tend to decrease the structural strength.

Nails

No nail should be subjected to direct pull. A minimum of four nails per joint is recommended. The size of the nail used will depend upon the load that must be carried by the joint and the thickness of the material being joined, one inch stock requiring 8d nails, two inch stock requiring 16d nails, etc.

Tube and Coupler Scaffolding: Shall be erected and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. It is of extreme importance to use proper seating and locking of all connections, and to use the correct devices.

All tube and coupler scaffolds shall be constructed and erected to support four times the maximum intended loads as set forth in tables D-13, 14, and 15 within the OSHA 1910.28 standard, or as set forth in the specifications by a registered professional engineer. Copies of the specifications shall be made available to the employer for inspection purposes. (Tables are listed below.)

A light duty tube and coupler scaffold shall have all posts, bearers, runners, and bracing of nominal 2 inch O.D. steel tubing. The posts shall be spaced no more than 6 feet apart by 10 feet along the length of the scaffold. Other structural metals when used must be designed to carry an equivalent load. No dissimilar metals shall be used together on any tube coupler scaffold.

OSHA 1910.28, TABLE D-13

Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Light Duty

Uniformly Distributed Load Not to exceed 25 p.s.f.
Longitudinal Post Spacing 10 ft. 0 in.
Transverse Post Spacing 6 ft. 0 in.
Working Levels Additional Planked Levels Maximum Height
1 8 125 ft.
2 4 125 ft.
3 0 91 ft. 0 in.
A medium duty tube and coupler scaffold shall have all posts, runners, and bracing of nominal 2 inch O.D. steel tubing. Posts spaced not more than 6 feet apart by 8 feet along the length of the scaffold must be bearers of nominal 2 1/2 O.D. steel tubing.

OSHA 1910.28, TABLE D-14

Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Medium Duty

Uniformly Distributed Load Not to exceed 50 p.s.f.
Longitudinal Post Spacing 8 ft. 0 in.
Transverse Post Spacing 6 ft. 0 in.
Working Levels Additional Planked Levels Maximum Height
1 6 125 ft.
2 0 78 ft. 0 in.
A heavy duty tube and coupler scaffold shall have all posts, runners, and bracing of nominal 2 inch O.D. Steel tubing, with the posts spaced not more than 6 feet by 6 feet 6 inches.

OSHA 1910.28, TABLE D-14

Tube and Coupler Scaffolds – Heavy Duty

Uniformly Distributed Load Not to exceed 75 p.s.f.
Longitudinal Post Spacing 6 ft. 6 in.
Transverse Post Spacing 6 ft. 0 in.
Working Levels Additional Planked Levels Maximum Height
1 6 125 ft.
Drawings and specifications of all tube and coupler scaffolds above the limitations must be designed by a qualified engineer competent in this field.

All tube and coupler scaffolds shall be erected by competent and experienced personnel.

Posts must be accurately spaced, erected on suitable bases, and maintained plumb.

Runners shall be erected along the length of the scaffold, located on both the inside and the outside posts at even heights. Runners shall be interlocked to the inside and the outside posts at even heights. Runners shall be interlocked to form continuous lengths and coupled to each post. The bottom runners must be located as close to the base as possible. Runners must be placed not more than 6 feet-6 inches on centers.

Bearers shall be installed transversely between posts and shall be securely coupled to the posts bearing on the runner coupler. When coupled directly to the runners, the coupler must be kept as close to the posts as possible. Bearers must be at least 4 inches but not more than 12 inches longer than the post spacing or runner spacing. Bearers may be cantilevered for use as brackets to carry not more than two planks.

Cross bracing shall be installed across the width of the scaffold at least every third set of posts horizontally and every fourth runner vertically. Such bracing shall extend diagonally from the inner and outer runners upward to the next outer and inner runners.

Longitudinal diagonal bracing shall be installed at approximately a 45-degree angle from near the base of the first outer post upward to the extreme top of the scaffold. Where the longitudinal length of the scaffold permits, such bracing shall be duplicated beginning at every fifth post. In a similar manner longitudinal diagonal bracing shall also be installed from the last post extending back and upward toward the first post. Where conditions preclude the attachment of this bracing to the posts, it may be attached to the runners.

The entire scaffold shall be tied to and securely braced against the building at intervals not to exceed 30 feet horizontally and 26 feet vertically.

Guardrails not less than 2 x 4 inches or the equivalent and not less than 36 inches or more than 42 inches high, with a mid-rail, when required, of 1 x 4-inch lumber or equivalent, and toeboards, shall be installed at all open sides on all scaffolds more than 10 feet above the ground or floor. Toeboards shall be a minimum of 4 inches in height. Wire mesh shall be installed in accordance with OSHA 1910.28 (a)(17).