A suspension scaffold contains one or more platforms suspended by ropes or other non-rigid means from an overhead structure, such as the following scaffolds: single-point, multipoint, multi-level, two-point, adjustable, boatswains' chair, catenary, chimney hoist, continuous run, elevator false car, go-devils, interior hung, masons', and stone setters'. We will discuss 8 of the general types of suspension scaffolds, lifts, and hoists. 1926.450(b)
A single-point adjustable scaffold consists of a platform suspended by one rope from an overhead support and equipped with means to permit the movement of the platform to desired work levels. The most common among these is the scaffold used by window washers to clean the outside of a skyscraper (also known as a boatswain's chair). More information on this scaffold.
The two-point adjustable suspension scaffold, also known as a swing-stage scaffold, is perhaps the most common type of suspended scaffold. Hung by ropes or cables connected to stirrups at each end of the platform, it is typically used by window washers on skyscrapers, but plays a prominent role in high-rise construction as well. More information on this scaffold.
A multi-level scaffold is a two-point or multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold with a series of platforms at various levels resting on common stirrups. More information on this scaffold.
A multi-point adjustable scaffold consists of a platform (or platforms) suspended by more than two ropes from overhead supports and equipped with means to raise and lower the platform(s) to desired work levels. These scaffolds have many uses in tanks, silos, stacks, and chimneys. More information on this scaffold.
A float, or ship, scaffold is a suspension scaffold consisting of a braced platform resting on at least two parallel bearers extending at least 6 inches beyond the platform on both sides. The platform is hung from overhead supports by ropes of fixed length. The More information on this scaffold.
This simple type of scaffold consists of a platform suspended from needle beams, usually attached on one end to a permanent structural member. More information on this scaffold.
A catenary scaffold is a scaffold consisting of a platform supported by two essentially horizontal and parallel ropes attached to structural members of a building or other structure. Catenary scaffolds have a maximum intended load of 500 pounds, and no more than two employees at a time are permitted on the scaffold. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (r)(2)] More information on this scaffold.
An interior hung suspension scaffold consists of a platform suspended from the ceiling or roof structure by fixed-length supports. The roof structures must be inspected for strength before the scaffold is erected. More information on this scaffold.
Scissor lifts are mobile supported scaffold work platforms used to safely move workers vertically and to different locations in a variety of industries including construction, retail, entertainment and manufacturing. Scissor lifts are different from aerial lifts because the lifting mechanism moves the work platform straight up and down using crossed beams functioning in a scissor-like fashion. They do not articulate the work platform from side-to-side. Although scissor lifts present hazards similar to scaffolding when extended and stationary, using scissor lifts safely depends on considering equipment capabilities, limitations and safe practices. See more information on scissor lifts.
An aerial lift is any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate personnel. Aerial lifts have replaced ladders and scaffolding on many job sites due to their mobility and flexibility. They may be made of metal, fiberglass reinforced plastic, or other materials. They may be powered or manually operated, and are considered to be aerial lifts whether or not they can rotate around a primarily vertical axis. See more information on aerial lifts. Types include:
General OSHA standard 1910.450 requirements for all types of suspension scaffolds include:
Workers on suspended scaffolds must use a fall protection system to protect them against scaffold failure. This system will usually consist of a full body harness, lanyard, rope grab, independent vertical lifeline and an independent lifeline anchorage. Remember, fall protection is only as good as its anchorage. The anchorage points are independent points on structures where lifelines are securely attached. These points must be able to support at least 5,000 pounds per employee.
Click on the button to see fall protection requirements for suspended scaffolds.
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This is a short toolbox talk by Berglund Construction on suspended scaffold safety and rigging.