Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Scaffolding eTool

Suspended Scaffolds Float (ship)

Float (ship)

A float, or ship, scaffold is a suspension scaffold consisting of a braced platform resting on two parallel bearers and hung from overhead supports by ropes of fixed length.

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

  • Platforms must be supported by and securely fastened to a minimum of two bearers extending at least 6 inches beyond the platform on both sides. [29 CFR 1926.452(s)(1)]
  • Rope connections must not allow the platform to shift or slip. [29 CFR 1926.452(s)(2)]
  • When only two ropes are used with each float [29 CFR 1926.452(s)(3)]:
    • Ropes must be arranged to provide four ends that are securely fastened to overhead supports. [29 CFR 1926.452(s)(3)(i)]
    • Each rope must [29 CFR 1926.452(s)(3)(ii)]:
      • Be hitched to one end of the bearer.
      • Pass under the platform and be hitched again at the other end.
      • Leave enough rope for supporting ties.
  • Each employee on a float (ship) scaffold must be protected by a personal fall-arrest system. [29 CFR 1926.451(g)(1)(i)]

For a maximum intended load of 750 pounds:

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