When Scaffold Systems are Priceless

More and more contractors are turning to the use of scaffold systems when performing high or complicated roofing projects. Scaffold systems can be expensive, however when avoiding injury and/or saving lives; these systems are priceless.

Scaffold systems provide three very important roles for the contractor: 1) safe working access and egress, 2) defined egress corridors for pedestrians and 3) a safe working platform.

Additionally, OSHA has very strict compliance regulations that are levied on contractors when a scaffold system is being used. Below are some of those regulations:


  • Working platforms fully planked/decked? 1926.451(b)(1)
  • Fall protection provided above 10 feet? 1926.451(g)(1)
  • Legs/frame bear on base plates/mud sills? 1926.451(c)(2)
  • Scaffolds inspected/free of defects? 1926.451(f)(3)
  • Footings level, rigid, no visible settling? 1926.451(c)(2)(i)
  • Platform clean/free of excessive debris? 1926.451(f)(13)
  • Platform supports plumb/braced to prevent swaying? 1926.451
  • Toe boards used to prevent tools/materials falling on employees?1926.451(h)(2)(ii)
  • Makeshift devices not used to gain additional height? 1926.451(f)(14)
  • Scaffolds and components do not exceed rated capacities? 1926.451(f)(1)
  • Only materials needed stored on scaffold? 1926.250(b)(5)
  • Guys/ties/braces installed per manufacturers recommendations?1926.451(c)(1)
  • Front edge of platform is 14″ or less from face of work? (1926.451(b)(3)
  • Locking pins used to secure coupling pins to vertical frame posts?1926.452(c)(4)
  • Workers trained on use of scaffolds? 1926.454(a)
  • Workers trained to erect/disassemble/move scaffolds? 1926.454(b)
  • Proper distance maintained from exposed energized power lines?1926.451(f)(6)
  • Scaffolds (Stair tower) Yes No
    • Bottom step no more than 24 in. high? 1926.451(e)(4)
    • Stair rail (top & mid) provided on each side? 1926.451(e)(4)(i)]
    • Handrails provide adequate handhold for grasping? 1926.451(e)(4)(iii)
    • Handrails smooth and free of snags? 1926.451(e)(4)(iv)
    • Ends of stair rails do not pose a projection hazard? 1926.451(e)(4)(v)]
    • Handrails provide min. 3 in. clearance? 1926.451(e)(4)(vi)]
    • Stair rail at proper height (btwn. 28-37 in.)? 1926.451(e)(4)(vii)
    • Landing platform (min. 18×18 in.) at each level? 1926.451(e)(v)(viii)
    • Min. 18 in. clearance between stair rails? 1926.451(e)(4)(ix)
    • Treads/landings slip-resistant? 1926.451(e)(4)(x)
    • Riser/tread height uniform? 1926.451(e)(4)(xiii)&(xiv)
    • Stair tower placed on firm foundation? 1926.451(c)(2)
    • Footings are level/no signs of settling? 1926.451(c)(2)(i)
    • Stair tower is plum/braced to prevent swaying? 1926.451(c)(3)
    • Competent person inspects stair tower each shift/as needed? 1926.451(f)(3)