June 14, 1999
Mr. Don A. Halperin
10835 NW 18 Court
Gainesville, FL 32606
Re: 29 CFR 1926. 450, 451; Safety Requirements for Metal Deck Platforms on
Manually Propelled Scaffolds.
Dear Mr. Halperin:
This is in response to your letter dated April 27, 1999, addressed to Mr.
Charles N. Jeffress, Assistant Secretary of Labor, requesting OSHA's
interpretation as to whether metal decking must be secured when used as a
platform on a manually propelled scaffold.
Generally, a platform must either be secured or extend
out at least six inches
One of the general requirements for scaffolds is §1926.451(b)(4),
which states that "each end of a platform, unless cleated or otherwise
restrained by hooks or equivalent means, shall extend over the centerline
of its support at least six inches." Therefore, if platforms are not
attached, they must extend out at least six inches. This mandate does not
distinguish between metal and non-metal decking.
A qualified person must determine if the platforms need
to be attached
Under §.451(a)(6), scaffolds must be constructed in accordance with
design plans provided by a qualified person ("one who, by possession of a
recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by
extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully
demonstrated his/her ability to solve or resolve problems related to the
subject matter, the work, or the project"). The qualified person must
indicate in the design plans either that the platform is to be attached or
must extend over the centerline of its support by at least six inches.
The competent person must determine if unattached
platforms will stay in place
Section .451(f)(7) requires scaffolds to be erected, moved, dismantled, or
altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person
qualified in scaffold erection, moving, dismantling or alteration (a
competent person is "one who is capable of identifying existing and
predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which
are...hazardous, or dangerous...and who has authorization to take prompt
corrective measures..."). Workers may remain on a movable scaffold while it
is moved only under the supervision of a competent person (and only if the
additional requirements in §.452(w)(6) are met). If a qualified person
has designed the movable scaffold with unattached platforms, workers may
remain on the platform while the scaffold is moved only if the competent
person determines that the unsecured platform will maintain the six inch
If you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us
again by writing to: U. S. Department of Labor (OSHA), Office of
Construction Standards and Compliance Assistance, Room N3467,
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.
Russell B. Swanson
Directorate of Construction