Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Scaffolding eTool

Suspended Scaffolds Catenary

Catenary - image points out the struture above, vertical pickups hanging below the structure, and the platform hanging from the vertical pickups using by hook stops and anchored wire rope

A catenary scaffold is a scaffold consisting of a platform supported by two essentially horizontal and parallel ropes attached to structural members of a building or other structure.

NOTE: The requirements on this page are specific to catenary scaffolds only. For requirements that apply to all types of suspended scaffolds, please refer to the Two-point (swing stage) module.

  • Catenary scaffolds may not have [29 CFR 1926.452(r)(1)]:
    • More than one platform between consecutive vertical pickups.
    • More than two platforms altogether.
  • Platforms supported by wire rope must have hook-shaped stops on each of the platform to prevent them from slipping off the wire ropes. These hooks must be positioned so that they prevent the platform from falling if one of the horizontal wire ropes breaks. [29 CFR 1926.452(r)(2)]
  • Wire ropes must not be over-tightened to the point that a scaffold load will overstress them. [29 CFR 1926.452(r)(3)]
  • Wire ropes must be continuous and without splices between anchors. [29 CFR 1926.452(r)(4)]
  • Each employee on a catenary scaffold must be protected by a personal fall-arrest system. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(i)]
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