Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Scaffolding eTool

Supported Scaffolds Ladder Jack

Ladder Jack - Photo Credit: OSHA Directorate of Construction

A ladder jack scaffold is a simple device consisting of a platform resting on brackets attached to a ladder. Ladder jacks are primarily used in light applications because of their portability and cost effectiveness.

NOTE: The requirements on this page are specific to ladder jack scaffolds only. For requirements that apply to all types of supported scaffolds, please refer to the Frame or Fabricated module.

For additional information on Ladder Jack Scaffolds, please see OSHA's Ladder Jack Scaffolds Fact Sheet.

  • Employees working above 10 feet (3.1 m) on a ladder jack scaffold must be protected from fall hazards by a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). [1926.451(g)(1) and (g)(1)(i)]
  • Personal fall arrest systems for scaffolds must meet the requirements of 1926.502(d) and 1926.451(g)(3).
    • The maximum distance from the face for plastering and lathing operations must be 18 inches (46 cm). [1926.451(b)(3)(ii)]
  • The front edge of all platforms must not be more than 14 inches (36 cm) from the face of the work, unless guardrail systems are erected along the front edge and/or personal fall arrest systems are used. [1926.451(b)(3)]
  • All ladders used to support ladder jack scaffolds must comply with 29 CFR 1926 Subpart X - Stairways and Ladders. [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(2)]
    • Exception: Job-made ladders must not be used to support ladder jack scaffolds.
  • Ladder jacks must be designed and constructed to bear on [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(3)]:
    • The side rails and ladder rungs.
    • Or the ladder rungs alone.
      • If ladder jacks bear on the ladder rungs alone, the bearing area must include a length of at least 10 inches on each rung.
  • Ladders used to support ladder jack scaffolds must be [29 CFR 1926.452(k)(4)]:
    • Placed to prevent slipping.
    • Fastened to prevent slipping.
    • Or equipped with devices to prevent slipping.
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