Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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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.

  • 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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