Types of Supported Scaffolds

Supported scaffolds consist of one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, legs, uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support. Because frame scaffolds are the most common type of supported scaffold. We get into the specific associated regulations for each later in the course.

Fabricated frame scaffold, also known as tubular welded frame scaffold means a supported scaffold consisting of a platform, or platforms, supported on fabricated end frames with integral posts, horizontal bearers, and intermediate members.

Mast climbing supported scaffolds (mast climbers) carry much heavier loads than traditional scaffolding and are used to position personnel and the necessary tools, equipment, and materials needed to perform work at great heights.

Mast climbers can be free-standing or tied to a structure at intervals for stability at increased heights. The mast may be supported on a stationary base, or for some projects that are lower, on a mobile base. Because mast climbers may be easily adjusted to optimize of working heights, they can reduce the potential for shoulder and lower back injuries to workers. Proper platform positioning reduces material handling hazards and fatigue and improves productivity. Since guardrail systems are built-in, fall protection travels with the platforms. Their small base footprint makes mast climbers very useful on projects with limited space. Mast climbers may be easily customized, and their flexibility gives many trades multiple options for performing work efficiently, in safe and ergonomically correct work conditions.

Pole scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold in which every structural component, from uprights to braces to platforms, is made of wood. OSHA has standards for two kinds: single-pole, which are supported on their interior side by a structure or wall, and double-pole, which are supported by double uprights independent of any structure. Because they have to be built from scratch and cannot easily be reused, pole scaffolds are considered old-fashioned and are rarely used today.

Speciality Scaffolds that are not often used but still regulated

  • Plasterers’, Decorators’, and Large-Area Scaffolds
  • Bricklayers’ Square Scaffolds
  • Horse Scaffolds
  • Form Scaffolds and Carpenters’ Bracket Scaffolds
  • Roof Bracket Scaffolds
  • Outrigger Scaffolds
  • Window Jack Scaffolds
  • Crawling Boards (Chicken Ladders)
  • Step, Platform, and Trestle Ladder Scaffolds
  • Stilts

A ladder jack scaffold is a simple device consisting of a platform resting on brackets attached to a ladder. Ladder jacks are primarily used in light applications because of their portability and cost effectiveness.

Mobile scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold set on wheels or casters. They are designed to be easily moved and are commonly used for things like painting and plastering, where workers must frequently change position.

Pump jacks are a uniquely designed scaffold consisting of a platform supported by moveable brackets on vertical poles. The brackets are designed to be raised and lowered in a manner similar to an automobile jack. Pump jacks are appealing for certain applications because they are easily adjusted to variable heights, and are relatively inexpensive.

Tube and coupler scaffolds are so-named because they are built from tubing connected by coupling devices. Due to their strength, they are frequently used where heavy loads need to be carried, or where multiple platforms must reach several stories high. Their versatility, which enables them to be assembled in multiple directions in a variety of settings, also makes them hard to build correctly.