Scaffold Builder – Erection/Dismantling Planning

Its essential to the safety of all employees to ensure that the use of all scaffolds at all work sites comply with OSHA requirements and that all proper protective measures are applied. All scaffolds will be properly selected, erected, and maintained to protect employees from the potential hazards associated with working on scaffolds.

An example of what should be in your Erection/Dismantling Plan is outlined below:

  • Authority and Scope – Authority: 29 CFR 1926.450, 1926.451, and 1926.454 (inclusive list you are following)
  • Scope: This Plan should apply to the use of supported scaffolds and should list the boundaries and scope
  • Program Administrator: Provide the name and contact information
  • Program Contact information – Task, Name, Job Number, Department and Contact info for each person
  • Roles and Responsibilities should identify work areas, processes, or tasks where scaffolds are used and their information.
    • Department Supervisors
      • Designate employees who will be recognized as competent persons
      • Evaluate scaffold installations and hazards
      • Select appropriate scaffold system
      • Monitor scaffold erection and use to ensure that scaffolds are used properly
      • Arrange for and/or conduct scaffold safety training
      • Evaluate the scaffold safety program and update the written program as needed
      • Monitor continually work areas and operations where scaffolds are used to identify hazards

Training Coordinator – The training program coordinator will develop and update training programs and maintain a schedule of training for all employees who may work from scaffolds.

Competent Person – “Competent person” means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Employees – Employees who work on scaffolds will:

  • Ensure that all fall hazards are protected before working on a scaffold
  • Ensure that the scaffold has been inspected before using the scaffold
  • Inform the supervisor of any hazards that they feel are not adequately addressed in there workplace and of any other concerns regarding the program
  • Care for and maintain scaffold equipment as instructed

Plan Review and Update – Any changes to the Scaffold Safety Program will be reviewed by a qualified person as the job progresses to determine additional practices, procedures, or training needs necessary to prevent injuries. Affected employees will be notified of all procedure changes, and trained if necessary.


Definitions – Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intentional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term) and extensional definitions (which try to list the objects that a term describes). Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which convey the meaning of a term by pointing out examples. A term may have many different senses and multiple meanings, and thus require multiple definitions. Go to Lesson – Scaffold-Definitions for a list of commonly used terms and definitions.

General Requirements for Scaffolds – Scaffolds will be erected, altered, and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements and applicable OSHA regulations (29 CFR 1926, Subpart L).

A competent person (Maintenance Manager or designated representative) will supervise the erection, alteration, and dismantling of scaffolds and inspect the scaffold prior to use each day.

Only personnel who have been trained in the proper use of scaffolds and the potential hazards of working on and around scaffolds will be permitted to work on them.

Scaffolds over 125 feet (38.0 m) in height above their base plates will be designed by a registered professional engineer, and will be constructed and loaded in accordance with such design.

Base Section – Supported scaffolds will be built and maintained on a foundation that is level and stable. Footings will be capable of supporting four times the intended load without settling or displacement. Unstable objects may not be used to support scaffolds or platforms. To assure stability, supported scaffolds will be set on base plates and mud sills or other adequate firm foundation.

Support Structure – To control the risk of a scaffold falling or collapsing, Pannier Corporation will ensure that scaffolds are assembled within OSHA standards relating to strength and structural integrity (see 29 CFR 1926.451).

Bracing – Frames and panels will be connected by cross, horizontal, or diagonal braces, alone or in combination, which secure vertical members together laterally.

Pinning – Frames and panels will be joined together vertically by coupling or stacking pins or equivalent means.

Components – Scaffold components manufactured by different manufacturers will not be intermixed and scaffold components made of dissimilar metals will not be used together.

Loading – Scaffolds will not be overloaded beyond their maximum capacity.

Safe Access – Employees will be able to safely access any level of a scaffold. Climbing of cross-braces as a means of access is forbidden.

Ladders – Portable, hook-on, and attachable ladders will be positioned so as not to tip the scaffold. Hook-on and attachable ladders will be specifically designed for use with the type of scaffold on which they are used.

Specific access requirements – Hook-on and attachable ladder rungs will be positioned so that their bottom rung is not more than 24 inches above the scaffold supporting level and have rest platforms provided at a maximum of 35-foot vertical intervals. Stairway-type ladders will be positioned so that their bottom step is not more than 24 inches above the scaffold supporting level and steps and rungs of ladders and stairway-type ladders will be kept free of ice, snow, mud, and debris. Built-in scaffold access frames will be specifically designed and constructed for use as ladder rungs and have rest platforms provided at a maximum of 35-foot vertical intervals.

Stair towers – Will have a stair rail consisting of a toprail and a midrail on each side of the stairway ends of stair rails and handrails constructed so that they do not constitute a projection hazard and guardrails meeting OSHA requirements on the open sides and ends of each landing.

Ramps and walkways Ramps and walkways 6 feet or more above lower levels will have guardrails that comply with 1926 Subpart M-Fall Protection. No ramp or walkway will incline more than 1:3 (1 vertical to 3 horizontal, or 20 degrees above the horizontal). If a ramp or walkway has a slope of more than 1:8, it will have cleats securely fastened to the planks not more than 14 inches apart, to provide footing. Access during erection and dismantling will be maintained. Pannier Corporation will assure safe access for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. The competent person (Maintenance Manager) is responsible for determining the safety and feasibility of installing and using safe means of access, based on site conditions and the type of scaffold involved.

Vertical Restraint – When a supported scaffold reaches a height that is more than four times its minimum base dimension (4:1), it will be restrained by guys, ties, or braces to prevent it from tipping. Guys, ties, and braces will be installed according to the scaffold manufacturer’s recommendations or at the closest horizontal member to the 4:1 height ratio and be repeated every 20 vertical feet for narrow scaffolds (3 feet or less in width), and every 26 vertical feet for scaffolds greater than 3 feet in width. Similar restraints will be installed every 30 feet horizontally.

Moving Scaffolds – Scaffolds may not be moved horizontally while employees are on them, unless they have been designed for that purpose by a registered professional engineer, or in the case of mobile scaffolds.

Weather Conditions – Employees are not permitted to work on or from a scaffold during storms or high wind, unless the Maintenance Manager or other competent person has determined that it is safe, and those employees are protected by personal fall arrest systems, or wind screens (when windscreens are used the scaffold will be secured against the anticipated wind forces).

Fall Protection – Fall protection is required for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds where it is feasible and where installing and using it does not create a greater hazard. The competent person who will be responsible for determining the feasibility and safety of providing fall protection for employees erecting or dismantling supported scaffolds. The most common scaffold hazard is worker falls. Fall protection consists of either personal fall-arrest systems or guardrail systems, and will be provided on any scaffold 10 feet or more above a lower level.

Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) – In addition to meeting the OSHA Fall Protection requirements, personal fall-arrest systems used on scaffolds will be attached by lanyard to a vertical lifeline, horizontal lifeline, or scaffold structural member.

Lifelines – When vertical lifelines are used, they will be fastened to a fixed safe point of anchorage, independent of the scaffold, and be protected from sharp edges and abrasion. Safe points of anchorage include structural members of buildings, but not standpipes, vents, or electrical conduits, which may give way under the force of a fall. When horizontal lifeline.

Guardrail systems – Will be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms and will be in place before the scaffold is released for use by employees other than erection/dismantling crews. Each toprail or equivalent member of a guardrail system will be able to withstand a force of at least 200 pounds applied in any downward or horizontal direction, at any point along its top edge. The top edge height of toprails on supported scaffolds will be between 36 inches and 45 inches.

Midrails – Will be installed at a height approximately midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the platform surface; and when screens and mesh are used, they will extend from the top edge of the guardrail system to the scaffold platform, and along the entire opening between the supports. In lieu of guardrails, crossbracing may serve as a toprail or midrail, providing the crossing point Betwis een 20 and 30 inches above the work platform for a midrail; or Between 38 and 48 inches above the work platform for a toprail.

Falling Objects – When scaffolds are erected or in use, assure that any persons below are protected from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects, toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems, Debris nets or canopy structures that contain or deflect falling objects; and placement of potential falling objects away from the edge of the surface from which they may fall.

Scaffold Platforms – A platform is a walkway or the work area of the scaffold and will be inspected. Each platform will be fully planked or decked and no gaps greater than 1 inch are permitted between adjacent planks or deck units. Platforms used solely as walkways, or during erection or dismantling, require only the planking that Pannier Corporation establishes is necessary to provide safe working conditions.

Wooden planking – will not be painted. Platforms may be coated periodically with clear wood preservatives, fire retardants, and slip-resistant finishes. Scaffold platforms and walkways will be at least 18 inches wide unless approved by the Maintenance Manager Nothing that could cause a slip, trip, or fall (i.e. tools, scrap material, chemicals, snow, ice, etc.) is allowed to accumulate on the platform. For most activities, there will be no more than a 14-inch gap between the scaffold platform and the structure being worked on. To prevent slippage, platforms will be cleated or otherwise secured at each end or else overlap end frames at least 6 inches, and not more than 12 inches.

On scaffolds where platforms are overlapped to create a long platform, the overlap may only occur over supports, and may not be less than 12 inches, unless the platforms are restrained (i.e., nailed together) to prevent movement. On scaffolds where platforms are abutted to create a long platform, each abutted end will rest on a separate support surface. When brackets are used to support cantilevered platforms, they will be used only to support personnel, unless the scaffold has been designed for other loads by a qualified engineer.

Electrical Hazards – Scaffolds, or any conductive materials associated with them (e.g. building materials, paint roller extensions, scaffold components) will be located 10 feet or more from overhead power lines. Scaffolds may be closer to overhead power lines than specified above if such proximity is necessary for the type of work being done, and if the power company or electrical system operator has been notified and has either de-energized the lines, relocated the lines, or installed protective coverings to prevent accidental contact with the lines. All portable electric equipment used on scaffolds will be protected by either ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or an assured equipment grounding conductor program.

Inspections – Scaffolds and scaffold components will be inspected for visible defects before each shift by the competent person (Maintenance Manager), and after each occurrence that could affect a scaffold’s integrity (i.e., being struck by a crane). Any part of a scaffold that has been damaged or weakened so that it no longer meets OSHA strength requirements must be tagged out by a competent person, and removed from service until repairs, or replacement can be made.

Training – Employees who work on, erect, dismantle, repair, or inspect scaffolds will be trained to recognize hazards associated with scaffolds and to control such hazards. This plan should identify the responsible parties and should include the following training;

  • The nature of scaffold hazard
  • Correct procedures for erecting, repairing, inspecting, and disassembling the type of scaffold in question
  • The design criteria, maximum intended load capacity, and intended use of the scaffold

Work While on Scaffolds – Employees who perform work while on a scaffold will be trained by a person qualified in the subject matter to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control those hazards.

  • The nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards, and falling object hazards in the work area as well as the correct procedures for dealing with those hazards
  • The proper use of the scaffold and the proper handling of materials on the scaffold
  • The maximum intended load and the load-carrying capacity of the scaffold.

Retraining – The Quality Manager will retrain each employee when there is reason to believe that the employee lacks the skill or understanding to safely erect, use, or dismantle a scaffold. Such retraining is required in at least the following situations: Changes at the worksite present a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained.

  • Changes in the types of scaffolds
  • Fall protection
  • Falling object protection, or other equipment present a hazard for which an employee has not previously been trained
  • Inadequacies in an employee’s work indicate that the employee does not have the necessary proficiency

Recordkeeping – The Quality Manager will maintain a record of employees who have received training and the date the training was given.

Incident Investigations – All incidents that result in injury to workers, as well as near misses, regardless of their nature, will be reported and investigated. Investigations will be conducted by the Quality Manager as soon after an incident as possible to identify the cause and recommend means of prevention to eliminate the risk of reoccurrence. In the event of such an incident, the Scaffold Safety Plan will be reevaluated by the Quality Manager/Health and safety team to determine if additional practices, procedures, or training are necessary to prevent similar future incidents.

Enforcement – All staff members are subject to discipline. Documentation of any violations will be kept in the staff member’s personnel file.

Contractors – All outside contractors working in or on the premises of Pannier Corporation will be required to follow the guidelines set forth in this scaffold safety program. Contractors in the pre-job meeting will be informed of these requirements as well as the on-site construction rules that apply.