Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Suspended Scaffolds Needle Beam

Needle Beam

This simple type of scaffold consists of a platform suspended from needle beams, usually attached on one end to a permanent structural member.

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

  • Scaffold support beams must be installed on edge. [29 CFR 1926.452(u)(1)]
  • Ropes or hangers must be used for supports. [29 CFR 1926.452(u)(2)]
    • Exception: One end of the scaffold may be supported by a permanent structural member.
  • Ropes must be securely attached to needle beams. [29 CFR 1926.452(u)(3)]
  • Support connections must be arranged to prevent the needle beam from rolling or becoming displaced. [29 CFR 1926.452(u)(4)]
  • Platform units must be attached by bolts or equivalent means. Cleats and overhang are not considered adequate means of attachment. [29 CFR 1926.452(u)(5)]
  • For a maximum intended load of 25 pounds per square foot:
    • Beams must be 4 x 6 inches in cross section, with
    • A maximum beam span of 10 feet, and
    • The platform span must be no more than 8 feet.
  • Ropes [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (u)(1)]:
    • Must be attached to the needle beam by a scaffold hitch or eye splice.
    • The loose end must be tied by a bowline knot or a round turn and a half hitch.
  • Rope strength must at least be equal to 1-inch diameter, first-grade manila rope. [29 CFR 1926 Subpart L Appendix A (u)(2)]
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