FMC & Engineering Scaffolding and Safety

Precaution Technical Proposal


Scaffolding Fall Hazards

Personal Fall Arrest Safety

Personal fall arrest systems are one of two types of fall protection typicallyrequired on scaffolds.
These generally include some combination of a harness, D-rings, snap hooks, lifelines, and an anchorage point. Heres a quickbreakdown of general requirements for personal fall arrest systems:
  • Personal fall arrest systems must attach to a vertical lifeline, horizontallifeline, or scaffold structural member via a lanyard.
  • Vertical lifelines must fasten to a fixed anchorage point, independent of the scaffold, and must be protected from sharp edges and abrasion.
  • Safe anchorage points include structural members of buildings. Standpipes, drain pipes, vents, electrical conduits, and similar objects are not structural parts of the building and, as a result, are never safeanchorage points.

  • Two or more vertical lifelines may not attach to each other, nor to the same point of anchorage.





















Fall Protection on Suspended Scaffolds

Suspended scaffolds are platforms suspended by cables, ropes, or other non-rigid methods from an overhead structure. Window washers on skyscrapers usually work from suspended scaffolds, but construction workers also use them on extremely tall structures.

OSHA generally requires a personal fallarrest system        
or guardrail system forworkers on suspended scaffolds
10 feet or higher above a lower level. However,employees on single-point and two-point adjustable suspended scaffolds must use both a personal fall arrestsystem and a guardrail.









Other Types of Scaffolds

Supported and suspending scaffolds are just two of the many forms of scaffolding. Here’s a quick breakdown of OSHA fall protection requirements for other types of scaffolding.
  • Aerial lifts, boatswains’chair, catenary scaffold, float scaffold, ladder jack scaffold, and needle beam scaffold: Employees must use a personal fall arrest system.


  • Crawling board: Employees must use a personal fall arrest system, guardrail system, grabline (with a 3/4-inch diameter), or equivalent handhold fastened beside each crawling board.

  • Self-contained scaffold: Workers must use both a personal adjustable scaffold arrest system and a guard rail system.
  • Other forms of scaffolding: Employees must use a personal fall arrest system or a guardrail system.

Scaffold design

  • site location
  • period of time the scaffold is required to be in place
  • intended use
  • height and length and any critical dimensions which may affect the scaffold
  • number of boarded lifts
  • maximum working loads to be imposed and maximum number of people using the scaffold at any one time
  • type of access onto the scaffold eg staircase, ladder bay, extern al ladders
  • whether there is a requirement for sheeting, netting or brickguards
  • any specific requirements or provisions eg pedestrian walkway,restriction on tie locations, inclusion/provision for mechanic al handling plant eghoist)
  • nature of the ground conditions or supporting structure
  • information on the structure/building the scaffold will be erected against together with any relevant dimensions and drawings
  • any restrictions that may affect the erection, alteration or dismantling process
Prior to installation, the scaffold contractor or scaffold designer can then provide relevant information about the scaffold. This should include:
  • type of scaffold required (tube & fitting or system)
  • maximum bay lengths
  • maximum lift heights
  • platform boarding arrangement (ie 5 + 2) and the number of boarded  that can be used at any one time
  • safe working load / load class
  • maximum leg loads
  • maximum tie spacing both horizontal and vertical and tie duty
  • details of additional elements such as beamed bridges, fans, loading bays etc, which may be a standard configuration (see note 1 ref TG20:13) orspecifically designed
  • information can be included in relevant drawings if appropriate
  • any other information relevant to the design, installation or us e of the scaffold
  • reference number, date etc. to enable recording, referencing and checking

Scaffold structures that normally require bespoke design

  • all shoring scaffolds (dead, raking, flying)
  • cantilevered scaffolds1
  • truss-out Scaffolds
  • façade retention
  • access scaffolds with more than the 2 working lifts2
  • buttressed free-standing scaffolds
  • temporary roofs and temporary buildings
  • support scaffolds
  • complex loading bays1
  • mobile and static towers1
  • free standing scaffolds1
  • temporary ramps and elevated roadways
  • staircases and fire escapes (unless covered by manufacturers instructions)
  • spectator terraces and seating stands
  • bridge scaffolds1
  • towers requiring guys or ground anchors
  • offshore scaffolds
  • pedestrian footbridges or walkways
  • slung and suspended scaffolds
  • protection fans1
  • pavement gantries
  • marine scaffolds
  • boiler scaffolds
  • power line crossings
  • lifting gantries and towers
  • steeple scaffolds
  • radial / splayed scaffolds on contoured facades
  • system scaffolds outside manufacturers guidance
  • sign board supports
  • sealing end structures (such as temporary screens)
  • temporary storage on site
  • masts, lighting towers and transmission towers
  • advertising hoardings/banners
  • rubbish chute
  • Any scaffold structure not mentioned above that falls outside the ‘compliant scaffold’ criteria in TG20 or similar guidance from manufacturers of system scaffolds.


  1. TG20:13 provides compliant scaffolds for a limited range of cantilever scaffolds, loading bays, static towers, use of rakers, bridges and protection fans.
  2. TG20:13 provides a range of compliant scaffolds, which can be boarded at any number of lifts, but only two platforms can be used as working platforms at any one time.


Scaffold inspection

It is the scaffold users / hirers responsibility to ensure that all scaffolding has been inspected as follows:
  • following installation / before first use
  • at an interval of no more than every 7 days thereafter
  • following any circumstances liable to jeopardise the safety of the
  • installation eg high winds.
All scaffolding inspection should be carried out by a competent person whose 

combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold. Competence may have been assessed under the CISRS or an individual may have received training in inspecting a specific type of system scaffold from a manufacturer/supplier.

A non-scaffolder who has attended a scaffold inspection course (eg a site manager) could be deemed competent to inspect a basic scaffold structure.

The scaffold inspection report should note any defects or matters that could give rise to a risk to health and safety and any corrective actions taken, even when those actions are taken promptly, as this assists with the ident ification of any recurring problem.