Essential Elements of Safe Scaffold Construction

Two out of three construction workers perform some part of their job on scaffolding. Among the many types of scaffolding, the most common in the construction industry is the fabricated modular frame which is easy to assemble and offers height adjustments depending on the task at hand.

While most scaffold-related accidents happen due to human factors, a percentage is caused due to improper scaffold construction. Below are essential guidelines in the proper construction of scaffolding:

1. Platforms
Platforms on scaffolding must:
– be made of scaffold grade wood
– be completely planked without gaps measuring more than 1 inch
– support weight 4 times its maximum load
– at least 18 inches wide
– overlap at least 12 inches over its supports, unless restrained
– be fully planked between front upright and guardrail support

2. Heightscaffold 2
The height of the scaffold should not be more than 4 times its minimum base dimension unless guys, ties, or braces are used.

3. Ends
Each end of a platform, unless cleated or otherwise restrained by hooks, must extend over its support by at least 6 inches.

4. Support
– Platforms supported by legs, outrigger beams, brackets, poles, uprights, posts, & frames
– Restrain from tipping by guys, ties, or braces
– Scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights must be on base plates and mud sills or other firm foundation

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