Platforms - Scaffold Use

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What should you check before using scaffold?

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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?

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  • 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?

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  • 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 the platform.
  • Do not use scaffolds near electrical wires.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2017-11-01