Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Scaffolding eTool

Supported Scaffolds Mobile (Manually or Propelled)

Mobile - Photo Credit: OSHA Directorate of Construction

Mobile scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold set on wheels or casters. They are designed to be easily moved and are commonly used for things like painting and plastering, where workers must frequently change position.

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

  • Scaffolds must be plumb, level, and squared. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(1)]
  • To prevent collapse of the scaffold, to secure vertical members together laterally and to automatically square and align vertical members, scaffolds must be braced by [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(1)]:
    • Cross-braces
    • Horizontal braces
    • Diagonal braces
    • Or a combination of braces
  • All brace connections must be secured. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(1)]
  • To prevent movement of the scaffold while it is being used in a stationary position, scaffold casters and wheels must be locked with [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(2)]:
    • Positive wheel locks
    • Wheel and swivel locks
    • And/or equivalent means
  • Caster stems and wheel stems in scaffold legs or adjustment screws must be [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(9)]:
    • Pinned
    • Or otherwise secured
  • Platforms must not extend beyond the base supports of the scaffold, unless stability is ensured by [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(7)]:
    • Outrigger frames
    • Equivalent devices
  • Leveling of the scaffold, where necessary, must be achieved by the use of [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(8)]:
    • Screw jacks
    • Equivalent means
  • Scaffolds constructed of tube and coupler components must also comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(1)(i)]
  • Scaffolds constructed of fabricated frame components must also comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(1)(ii)]
  • Scaffolds shall be stabilized to prevent tipping during movement. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(5)]
  • Manual force used to move the scaffold must be applied as close to the base as practicable, but not more than 5 feet above the supporting surface. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(3)]
  • Power systems used to propel mobile scaffolds must be designed for that purpose. Forklifts, trucks, motor vehicles, or add-on motors must not be used to propel scaffolds unless the scaffold is designed for them. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(4)]
  • Employees are not allowed to ride on scaffolds unless the following conditions exist [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)]:
    • The surface on which the scaffold is being moved is [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)(i)]:
      • Within 3 degrees of level.
      • Free of pits, holes, and obstructions.
    • The height to base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is 2:1 or less, unless the scaffold is designed and constructed to meet or exceed nationally recognized stability test requirements (such as ANSI/SIA A92.5 and 92.6). [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)(ii)]
    • Outrigger frames, when used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)(iii)]
    • When power systems are used, the propelling force is [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)(iv)]:
      • Applied directly to the wheels.
      • Does not produce a speed in excess of 1 foot per second.
    • No employee is on any part of the scaffold that extends beyond the wheels, casters, or other supports. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(6)(v)]
  • Before a scaffold is moved, each employee on the scaffold must be made aware of the move. [29 CFR 1926.452(w)(10)]

Stability tests as described in ANSI A92, as appropriate for the type of scaffold, can be used to establish stability in compliance with paragraph (w)(6) of this section. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (2)(w)]

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