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Scaffolding eTool

Supported Scaffolds Pole or Wood Pole

Pole or Wood Pole

Pole scaffolds are a type of supported scaffold in which every structural component, from uprights to braces to platforms, is made of wood. OSHA has standards for two kinds: single-pole, which are supported on their interior side by a structure or wall, and double-pole, which are supported by double uprights independent of any structure.

Because they have to be built from scratch and cannot easily be reused, pole scaffolds are considered old-fashioned and are rarely used today.

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

  • When platforms are moved to the next level, the existing platform must be left undisturbed until the new bearers have been set in place and braced. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(1)]
  • Where wooden poles are spliced, the following regulations apply:
    • The ends must be squared.
    • The upper section must rest squarely on the lower section.
    • Wood splice plates or scab plates must be provided on at least two adjacent sides, and must:
      • Extend at least 2 feet on either side of the splice.
      • Overlap the abutted ends equally.
      • Have at least the same cross-sectional areas as the pole.
    • Splice plates made of materials other than wood may be used, as long as they are of equivalent strength. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(9)]
  • Pole scaffolds over 60 feet in height must [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(10)]:
    • Be designed by a registered professional engineer.
    • Be constructed and loaded in accordance with that design.

NOTE: Non-mandatory Appendix A to this subpart contains examples of criteria that will enable an employer to comply with design and loading requirements for pole scaffolds under 60 feet in height.

  • Crossbracing must be installed between the inner and outer sets of poles on double pole scaffolds. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(2)]
  • Diagonal bracing must be installed in both directions across:
    • The entire outside face of double- and single-pole scaffolds. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(4)]
    • The entire inside face of double-pole scaffolds used to support loads of 50 lbs. or more per square foot. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(3)]
  • Runners and bearers must be installed on edge. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(5)]
  • Bearers must extend a minimum of 3 inches over the outside edge of runners. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(6)]
  • Runners must [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(7)]:
    • Extend over two poles at minimum.
    • Be supported by bearing blocks securely attached to the poles.
  • Braces, bearers, and runners must not be spliced between poles. [29 CFR 1926.452(a)(8)]

The following tables are best viewed on a tablet or pc.

Single Pole Wood Pole Scaffolds
[29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (2)(a)]
 

Light Duty up to 20 feet High

Light Duty up to 60 feet High

Medium Duty up to 60 feet High

Heavy Duty up to 60 feet High

Maximum Intended Load

25 pounds/foot2

25 pounds/foot2

50 pounds/foot2

75 pounds/foot2

Poles or uprights

2 x 4 inches

4 x 4 inches

4 x 4 inches

4 x 6 inches

Maximum pole spacing (longitudinal)

6 feet

10 feet

8 feet

6 feet

Maximum pole spacing (transverse)

5 feet

5 feet

5 feet

5 feet

Runners

1 x 4 inches

1¼ x 9 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

Bearers and maximum spacing of bearers

3 feet

2 x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 5 inches

5 feet

2 x 6 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 6 inches
or
3 x 4 inches (rough)

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 5 inches

6 feet

-

-

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 5 inches

8 feet

-

-

2 x 10 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

-

Planking

1¼ x 9 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

Maximum vertical spacing of horizontal members

7 feet

9 feet

7 feet

6 feet 6 inches

Bracing (horizontal)

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 6 inches
or
1¼ x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

Bracing (diagonal)

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

Tie-ins

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

Independent Wood Pole Scaffolds
[29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (2)(a)]
 

Light Duty up to 20 feet High

Light Duty up to 60 feet High

Medium Duty up to 60 feet High

Heavy Duty up to 60 feet High

Maximum Intended Load

25 pounds/foot2

25 pounds/foot2

50 pounds/foot2

75 pounds/foot2

Poles or uprights

2 x 4 inches

4 x 4 inches

4 x 4 inches

4 x 4 inches

Maximum pole spacing (longitudinal)

6 feet

10 feet

8 feet

6 feet

Maximum pole spacing (transverse)

5 feet

5 feet

5 feet

5 feet

Runners

1¼ x 4 inches

1¼ x 9 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

Bearers and maximum spacing of bearers

3 feet

2 x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches (rough)

6 feet

2 x 6 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
(rough) or
3 x 8 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches (rough)

8 feet

2 x 6 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
(rough)or
3 x 8 inches

2 x 10 inches

-

10 feet

2 x 6 inches
or
3 x 4 inches

2 x 10 inches
(rough) or
3 x 3 inches

-

-

Planking

1¼ x 9 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

2 x 10 inches

Maximum vertical spacing of horizontal members

7 feet

7 feet

6 feet

6 feet

Bracing (horizontal)

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 6 inches
or
1¼ x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

Bracing (diagonal)

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

2 x 4 inches

Tie-ins

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

1 x 4 inches

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