Code of Safe Practice​

Developed for the Industry by the Scaffold Industry Association, Inc. (SIA)
and the Scaffold Shoring & Firming Institute (SSFI).

Code of safe practice

Frame Scaffolds, System Scaffolds, Tube and Clamp Scaffolds & Rolling Scaffolds

Developed for the Industry by the Scaffold Industry Association, Inc. (SIA) and the Scaffold Shoring & Firming Institute (SSFI).

It shall be the responsibility of all users to read and comly with the following common sense guidelines, which are designed to promote safety in the erecting, dismantling and use of scaffolds. These guidelines do not support to be all inclusive nor to supplant or replace other additional safety and precautionary measures it cover usual or unusual conditions. If these guidelines in any way conflict with any state, local, provincial, federal or other government statute or regulation shall supersede these guidlelines and it shall be the responsibility of each user to comply therewith.

1. General Guidelines

A. Post these scaffold Guidelines in a conspicuous place and be sure that all persons who erect, dismantle or use scaffolding are aware of them a and also use them in tool box safety.

B. Follow all state, local and federal codes, ordinance and regulations pertaining to scaffolding.

C. Survey the job site. A survey shall be made of the job site by a competent person for hazards, such as unstamped earth files,
ditches, debris, high tension wires, ungraded openings, and other hazardous conditions created by other trades. These conditions
should be corrected or avoided as noted in the following sections.

D. Inspect all equipment before using. Never use any equipment that is damaged or defective in any way. Mark it or tag it as
defective. Remove it from the job site.

E. Scaffolds must be erected in accordance with the design and or manufacturer’s recommendations.

F. Do not erect, dismantle or alter a scaffold unless unless under the supervision of a competent person.

G. Do not abuse or misuse the scaffold equipment.

H. Erected scaffold should be continually inspected by users to be sure that they are maintained in safe condition.

I. Never take chance if in doubt regarding the safety or the use of the scaffold. Consult your scaffold supplier.

J. Never use equipment for purposes or in ways that was not intended.

K. Do not work on scaffolds if your physical condition in such that you feel dizzy or unsteady in any way.

L. Do not work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2. Guidelines for erection and use of scaffold

A. Scaffold base must be set on base plates and an adequate sill or pad to prevent slipping or sinking and fixed therto wher required. Any part
of a building or structure used to support the scaffold shall be capable of supporting the maximum intended load to be applied.

B. Use adjusting screws or other approved method to adjust to uneven grade conditions.

C. Bracing, leveling, & plumbing of frame scaffolds.

  1.  Plumb and level all scaffolds throughout erection process. Do not force frames or braces to fit. Level the scaffold until proper fit can be easily made.

    2. Each frame of panel shall be braced by horizontal bracing, cross bracing, or any combination there of, for securing vertical members together laterally. All brace connections shall be made secure in accordance with the manufacture’s recommendations.

D. Bracing, leveling, & plumbing of tube & clamp and system scaffolds

  1.  Posts shall be created plumb in all directions, with the first level of runners and bearers positioned as close to the base as feasible. The distance between bearers and runners shall not exceed manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2.  Plumb and level all scaffold as erection proceeds.
  3.  Fasten all couplers and or connections securely before assembly of next level.
  4.  Vertical and or horizontal diagonal bracing must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

E. When free standing scaffold towers exceed a height of four(4) times their minimum base dimension, they must be restrained from tipping. CAL/OSHA and some government agencies require a stricter ratio of three (3) to one(1).

F. Tie continuous (running) scaffold to the wall o structure at each end at least every 30 feet of length in between when scaffold height exceeds the maximum allowable free standing dimension.
Install additional ties on taller scaffolds as follows:

– On scaffolds 3 feet or narrower in width, subsequent vertical ties shall be reputed at intervals no greater than every 20 feet.

– On scaffolds wider that 3 feet, subsequent vertical ties shall be repeated at intervals not greater than 26 feet.

– The top tie shall be installed as close to the top of the platform as possible: however, no lower from the top than 4 times the scaffold’s minimum base dimension. Ties must prevent the scaffold from tipping either into or away from the structure. Stabilize circular or irregular scaffolds in such a manner that the completed scaffold is secure from tipping. Place ties near horizontal: members. When scaffolds are fully or partially enclosed or when scaffolds are subjected to overturning ties may be required. Consult a qualified person.

G. Do not erect scaffolds near electrical power lines. Consult a qualified person for advice.

H. Access shall be provided to all platforms. Do not climb cross braces or diagonal braces.

I. Provide a guardrail system, fall protection and toeboards wher required by the prevailing code.

J. Brackets and cantilevered platforms.

  1.  Brackets for system scaffolds shall be installed and used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Brackets for frame scaffolds shall be seated correctly with side bracket parallel to the frames and end brackets at 90 degrees to the frames. Brackets shall not be bent or twisted from normal position. Brackets (except mobile brackets, designed to carry materials) are to be used as work platforms only and shall not be used for storage of material or equipment.
  3.  Cantilevered platforms shall be designed, installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

K. All Scaffold components shall be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended procedure. Components shall
not be altered. Scaffolds frames and their components manufactured by different companies shall not be intermixed, unless the component
parts readily fit together and the resulting scaffolds stmctural integrity is maintained by the user.

L. Planking

  1.  Working platforms shall cover scaffold bearer as completely as possible. Only scaffold grade wood planking or fabricated planking and decking meeting scaffold use requirements shall be used. Planks and platform should rest on bearers only.
  2. Check each plank prior to use to be sure plank is not warped, damaged, or otherwise unsafe.
  3. Planking shall have at least 12” overlap and extend 6” beyond center of support, or be cleated or restrained at both ends to prevent sliding off supports.
  4. Solid sawn lumber, LVL (laminated veneer lumber) or fabricated scaffold planks and platforms (unless cleated or restrained) shall extend over their end supports not less than 6” nor more than 18”. This overhang should be guardrailed to prevent access.

M. For “Putlogs” and “Trusses” the following additional guidelines apply:

  1. Do not cantilever or extend putlogs/trusses as side brackets without thorough condition of loads to be applied.
  2.  Install and brace putlogs and trusses in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

N. For rolling scaffolds the following additional guidelines apply:

  1.  Riding a rolling scaffold is very Hazardous. The SIA and SSFI do not recommended nor encourage this practice.
  2.  Casters with plain stems shall be attached to the frames or adjustment screw by pins or other suitable means.
  3.  No more than 12 inches of the screw jack shall extend between the bottom of the adjustment nut and the top of the easter.
  4.  Wheels or casters shall be locked when scaffold is in use.
  5.  Joints shall be restrained from separation.
  6. Use horizontal diagonal bracing near the bottom and at 20-foot intervals measured from the rolling surface.
  7.  Do not use brackets or other platform extensions without compensating for the overtuming effect.
  8.  The top platform height as measured from the rolling surface of a rolling scaffold must not exceed four (4) times the smallest base dimension. CAL/OSHA and some government agencies require a stricter ratio of three (3) to one(1).
  9. Cleat or secure all plank.
  10.  Secure or remove all material and equipment from platform before moving
  11.  Do not attempt to move a rolling scaffold without sufficient help watch out for holes in floor and overhead obstmctions-stabilize against tipping

O. Safe use of Scaffold

  1. Prior to use, inspect scaffold to insure it has not been altered and is in safe working condition.
  2.  Erected scaffold and platform should be  inspected continuously by those using them.
  3.  Excercise caution when entering or leaving a work platform.
  4.  Do not overload scaffold, follow manufacturer’s safe working load recommendations.
  5.  Do not jump onto planks or platforms.
  6.  Do not use ladders or makeshift devices to increase the working height of a scaffold. Do not place plank on guard rails to increase the height of a scaffold.
  7.  Climb in access areas only and use both hands. Do not climb braces or diagonals.
3. When dismantling scaffolding the following additional guidelines apply:

A. Check to assure scaffolding has not been structurally altered in a way which make it unsafe and if it has, reconstruct and/or stabilize where necessary before commencing with dismantling procedures. This includes all scaffold ties.

B. Visually inspect planks prior to dismantling to be sure they are safe

C. Do not remove a scaffold component without considering the effect of that removal.

D. Do not accumulate excess component or equipment on the level being dismantled.

E. Do not remove ties until scaffold above has been dismantled to that level

F. Lower dismantled component is an orderly manner. Do not throw off of scaffold.

G. Dismantled equipment should be stock piled is an orderly manner.

These safety guidelines (Codes of Safe Practice) set forth common sense procedures for safely erecting, dismantling and using scaffolding equipment. However, equipment and scaffolding systems differ, and accordingly, reference must always be made to the instructions and procedures of the supplier and/or manufacturer of the equipment. Since field conditions vary and are beyond the control of the SIA and the SSFI, safe and proper use of scaffolding is the sole responsibility of the user.