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Scaffolding eTool

Supported Scaffolds Pump Jack

Pump Jack

Pump jacks are a uniquely designed scaffold consisting of a platform supported by moveable brackets on vertical poles. The brackets are designed to be raised and lowered in a manner similar to an automobile jack. Pump jacks are appealing for certain applications because they are easily adjusted to variable heights, and are relatively inexpensive.

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

  • Pump jack brackets, braces, and accessories must be fabricated from metal plates and angles. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(1)]
  • Each pump jack bracket must have two positive gripping mechanisms to prevent any failure or slippage. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(1)]
  • When guardrails are used for fall protection, a workbench may be used as the toprail only if it meets all requirements of paragraphs 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii), 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(vii), (viii) and 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(xiii). [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(3)]
  • Work benches must not be used as scaffold platforms. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(4)]
  • Poles must be secured to the structure by rigid triangular bracing, or equivalent, at the [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(2)]:
    • Bottom
    • Top
    • Other points as necessary
  • When bracing already installed has to be removed so the pump jack can pass, an additional brace must be installed approximately 4 feet above the original brace before it is removed. The additional brace must be left in place until the pump jack has been moved and the original brace reinstalled. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(2)]
  • When poles are made of wood, the pole lumber must be [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(5)]:
    • Straight-grained
    • Free of shakes
    • Free of large loose or dead knots, and other defects that might impair strength.
  • When wood poles of two continuous lengths are joined together, the seam must be parallel to the bracket. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(6)]
  • To develop full strength when two-by-fours are spliced to make a pole, mending plates must be installed at all splices. [29 CFR 1926.452(j)(7)]
  • Wood poles may not exceed 30 feet in height 29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (j).
  • When 2 x 4s are spliced together to make a 4 x 4-inch wood pole, they must be:
    • Spliced with 10 penny common nails no more than 12 inches center to center.
    • Staggered uniformly from the opposite outside edges.
  • Maximum intended load for pump jack scaffolds is 500 pounds, applied at the center of the platform span. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (j)]
  • Not more than two employees may be on a pump jack scaffold between any two supports at one time. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (2)(j)]
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