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Basic Safe Work Procedures for Scaffold Erection






  • Before erection of scaffolding a short tool box meeting must be held by the erection crew to discuss erection procedures.
  • One member of the crew will go to the roof to locate appropriate anchors for lifelines. If the tear-down consists of 10 frames or nine bays wide, at least 4 ropes will be required. If anchor points are available on rope should be utilized for every 2nd or 3rd bay of scaffolding. Be aware if a possible swing fall hazard. Anchor points must be able to withstand 5,000lbs.
  • The crew will then discuss and fill out the required site-specific fall protection plan including rescue procedures .
  • If it is required the area will be cordoned off to prevent entry by unauthorized workers. Ensure no other work is being performed directly above where you will be erecting scaffolding.
  • Using base plates/screw jacks stand end frames ensuring adequate sills or pads are used.
  • Connect the end frames with cross braces ensuring the unit is plumb and level.
  • Install planks (minimum 20″ wide) or manufactured aluminum deck.
  • Install the second row of end frames from the deck and install cross braces. Install handrails, if required, pig tails and endstops.
  • The worker on the top section must utilize fall protection equipment. Install the third row of end frames from the deck below. Install planks or manufactured decks from below.
  • Install cross braces, guard rails, pig tails and endstops.
  • Ensure building tie-ins are installed as work progresses. If three foot wide frames are used, the first row of building tie-ins will be at 9 feet (three times the minimum base dimension). The minimum distance for vertical tie-ins after this point is 20 feet. Horizontal tie-ins must be placed at a minimum distance of every third bay or 21 feet, whichever is less. Tie-ins must also be placed at each end of the scaffold.
  • Ensure adequate access to the scaffold is maintained at all times.


Note: The above procedures will vary somewhat depending on the type of components used, i.e. width and height of frames.

Rescue Procedures

  • Each crew is equipped with a cellular telephone.
  • If a worker falls and is suspended by fall arrest equipment he will initiate self-rescue if possible.
  • If self rescue is not possible fellow worker(s) will initiate rescue procedures.
  • If fellow worker(s) cannot effectively and safely assist with rescue procedure,
  • CALL 911.



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