Platforms - Frame Scaffold Set Up

On this page

What should I know about the assembly of frame scaffold?

Back to top
  • Make sure you are trained properly to set up scaffolding.
  • Check location for:
    • ground conditions
    • overhead wires
    • obstructions
    • changes in surface elevation
    • tie-in problems
  • Inspect frames, braces and all other components for damage, bends and excessive rust or wear.
  • Use a safety harness which is tied off to the scaffold, building or lifeline. Refer to OSH Answers Safety Belts, Harnesses and Lanyards for more information.
  • Assemble frame scaffolds with one other person so that one person is on the scaffold and one is passing materials from the ground.
  • Check for squareness and alignment of all scaffold parts.
  • Remove debris and mud from the setup area, and level the ground before placing the staging legs.
  • Setup the staging legs on a stable, solid base. Use mudsills when scaffolding is erected on soil.
  • Use appropriate mud sills 50 x 250 mm (e.g., 2 x 10 ft planks) that are continuous under at least two support feet. Where possible, the sill should extend at least 600 mm (2 ft) beyond the scaffold feet at the end.
  • Nail or screw the base plates to the mudsills.
  • Use jackscrews to eliminate hazards created by temporarily jacking up the erected scaffold to add shims when sections settle or are not level.
  • Inspect locking devices frequently.
  • Make sure all sections of the first level are level and square.
  • Install ladders as the erection proceeds. When scaffolds are to be in place for an extended period, install a stairway. Ladders must extend 1 m (3 ft) above the platform and be tied securely to the staging.
  • Fasten all braces and guardrails securely. Make sure all cross bracing fits and locks onto each post in every section.
  • Install all of the guardrails that are required: top, mid and toe. Requirements will vary depending on the materials used, and on the the legislation that applies in your area.
  • Inspect planks before use. Check the weight the planks will have to carry, including the weight of the crew, tools and materials.
  • Complete platform fully at each working level before assembling the next level.
  • Secure the scaffolding to the adjacent building structure as specified in the legislation that applies in your area.
  • Assemble all equipment according to manufacturer's specifications or engineer's design.

What should I not do when assembling scaffold?

Back to top
  • Do not mix frames and parts from different manufacturers.
  • Do not use nails or other devices in the place of proper retention parts as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not substitute concrete blocks, bricks or scrap lumber for a proper mud sill base, plates and jackscrews.
  • Do not overextend jackscrews.
  • Do not use ladders or makeshift devices on top of scaffolds to increase the height.
  • Do not use the same planks for sills as you do for platform bases.
  • Do not rig braces that do not fit properly.
  • Do not use cross-braces as guardrails.
  • Do not use scaffold frames to climb up to work platforms.
Wooden guardrails (secured to frame)

What should I know when dismantling scaffold?

Back to top
  • Make sure the structure will remain stable at all times.
  • Clear platform of all materials and debris before dismantling.
  • Proceed in the reverse order of erection.
  • Dismantle each tier completely before starting on the one below.
  • Work from full platform decks while removing braces and frames.
  • Remove jammed or rusted components with caution. Tugging or pulling on stuck parts often causes a loss of balance. Wear a safety harness and lanyard which is properly tied off.
  • Do not throw or drop boards or parts from heights.
  • Check and maintain all scaffold parts. Repair or discard all damaged pieces immediately.
  • Lubricate moving parts of all fittings.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2017-11-01