SCAFFOLDS & LADDERS – SAFETY AT CONSTRUCTION

  1. Where work cannot be done safely on the ground or from part of a building or other permanent structure, a safe and suitable scaffolding must be provided and maintained or other equally safe and suitable provision made.
  2. Scaffolds should be provided with means of safe access, such as stairs, stairs or ramps. The ladder should be secured against inadvertent movement.
  3. All scaffolds and stairs must be constructed, constructed and used in accordance with national laws and regulations.
  4. Every scaffold must be properly designed, constructed, erected and maintained so as to prevent collapse or accidental displacement when used appropriately.
  5. Every scaffold and its part should be:
    • Designed to prevent hazards to workers during construction and dismantling;
    • Designed so that guard rails and other protective equipment, platforms, putlogs, racks, transoms, ladders, stairs or ramps can be easily put together;
    • Suitable and solid material and of sufficient size and strength for the purpose to be used and maintained in proper condition.
  6. Competent authority should establish and enforce laws, regulations or standards containing detailed technical provisions for the design, manufacture, construction, use, maintenance, dismantling and inspection of various types of scaffolds and ladders used in construction work .
  1. Adequate suitable and solid material should be provided and used in the construction of scaffold.
  2. The timber used in the construction of the scaffold must be straight, fine and free of large knots, dry rot, worm holes and other defects that may affect its strength.
  3. Any rope that is corroded, whether through contact with acids or other corrosive substances or otherwise, should not be used on scaffolding.
  4. Where necessary, boards and planks used for scaffolds should be protected from splitting.
  5. Stairs, boards and planks used in scaffolds should not be painted so that any defects are visible.
  6. Materials used in the construction of scaffolds must be stored in good conditions and other than any materials unsuitable for scaffolds.
  7. The fastening on wooden scaffolds must be in conformity with national laws and regulations or approved by the competent authority.
  8. All tubes, couplers and fittings used in metal tubular scaffolding shall be of a standard and type approved by the competent authority. All couplers and fittings must be free from damage and deformation, and must be maintained in an oiled condition.
  9. Couplers should not cause distortion in the tubes. Couplers must be made of drop forged steel or equivalent material.
  10. The tube shall be free of cracks, splits and excessive corrosion and shall be straight to the eye, and the ends of the tube shall be neatly cut square with the tube axis.
  11. Alloy and steel tubing should not be mixed together on the same scaffold.
  1. Scaffolds shall be designed for their maximum load and with a safety factor of at least 4 or as prescribed by the competent authority.
  2. Scaffolds should be adequately fastened.
  3. Scaffolds that are not designed to be independent should be firmly attached to the building at appropriate vertical and horizontal distances.
  4. A scaffold should never rise above the highest anchor to such an extent as to threaten its stability and strength.
  5. Adequate putlogs and transoms must remain in position and securely attached to lasers, uprights or standards, as the case may be, to ensure the stability of the scaffold until it is ultimately dismantled.
  6. All scaffolds and equipment used as supports for working platforms must be of sound construction, have a strong foundation, and be sufficiently strut and braced to maintain their stability.
  7. Loose bricks, drain pipes, chimney-pots or other unsuitable materials shall not be used for the construction or support of any part of the scaffold.
  8. In order to prevent danger from falling objects when necessary, stairs of working platforms, gangways and scaffolds should be provided with upper screens of sufficient strength and dimensions.
  9. Nails should be driven the full length, not driven partially and then bent, and not subjected to straight pulling.
  10. Scaffolding materials should not be thrown from scaffolds or from heights.
  11. Other materials should only be thrown from a scaffold or height where the landing area has been designated, protected, displayed appropriate notice, and is under the supervision of a person at the landing level.
  12. Metal scaffolds shall not be erected more than 5 meters in proximity to overhead power transmission line equipment, except as per the safety distance prescribed by the competent authority or after the power transmission line or equipment has been electrically dead.
  13. As far as possible, every part of a work platform, gangway or scaffold ladder from which any person is liable to fall at a distance of 2 meters or as prescribed in national laws or regulations shall be provided with a guard-rail and Must be provided toe-boards complying with relevant national standards.
  14. Platforms on scaffolds should be of sufficient dimensions, especially in width, for the works carried out from the scaffold.
  1. Scaffolds shall be inspected as prescribed by national laws or regulations, and the results shall be recorded by a competent person:
    • before use;
    • Thereafter at periodic intervals as prescribed for different types of scaffolds;
    • Any change, interruption of use, exposure to weather or seismic conditions or any other event likely to affect their strength or stability.
  2. Inspection by a competent person should in particular ensure that:
    • Scaffolding is of suitable type and adequate for the task;
    • The material used in its manufacture is of good and sufficient strength;
    • It is sound construction and stable;
    • that the necessary safeguards are in place.
  3. A scaffold should not be erected, substantially altered or destroyed by or under the supervision of a competent person.
  4. Each scaffold must be kept in good and proper condition, and each part must be fixed or secured so that no part may be displaced as a result of normal use.
  5. No scaffold should be partially dismantled and discarded to be able to be used, unless it is safe for use.
  1. When lifting equipment is to be used on a scaffold:
    • Scaffolding parts should be carefully inspected by a competent person to determine additional reinforcement and other safety measures required;
    • Any movement of the putlog should be stopped;
    • If practicable, uprights should be firmly attached to the concrete part of the building where the lifting equipment is erected.
  1. The instructions given by the manufacturers or suppliers should be strictly followed in case of prefabricated scaffold systems. Prefabricated scaffolds should have adequate arrangement for fixing bracing.
  2. Different types of frames should not be mixed together in the same scaffold.
  1. Employers must provide competent supervision to ensure that all scaffolds are used appropriately and only for the purpose for which they are designed or erected. When moving a heavy load on a scaffold or on a scaffold, sudden jerks should not be delivered to the scaffold.
  2. When necessary to prevent danger, loads on the scaffold or on the scaffold should be controlled, for example by hand ropes (tag lines), so that they do not strike against the scaffold.
  3. The load on the scaffold should be distributed as evenly as possible, and in any case in such a way as to avoid disturbance of the stability of the scaffold.
  4. During the use of scaffolding, care should be taken that it is not overloaded or otherwise misused.
  5. Scaffolds should not be used for storage of materials required for immediate use.
  6. Workers should not be employed on outdoor scaffolds in weather conditions that threaten their safety.

In addition to the requirements for scaffolds in general regarding soundness, stability and protection against fall risk, suspended scaffolds must meet the following specific requirements in so far as such requirements apply:


  • Platforms must be designed and constructed with dimensions that are conducive to the stability of the structure as a whole, particularly the length;
  • The number of anchorages should correspond to the dimensions of the platform;
  • Workers’ safety must be secured by an additional rope that has a point of attachment independent of the scaffold’s anchor arrangement;
  • Anchors and other elements of scaffolding support shall be designed and manufactured in such a way as to ensure sufficient strength;
  • Ropes, pulleys, pulleys or pulley blocks must be designed, assembled, used and maintained in accordance with national laws and regulations established for lifting gear adapted to lift persons;
  • Before use, the entire structure should be checked by a competent person.


Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.