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Even if a suspended scaffold has been assembled in compliance with every applicable standard, employers and workers must continue to exercise caution and use sound work practices to assure their safety. Extreme weather, excessive loads, or damage to structural components can all affect a scaffold's stability. Note: Except where indicated, these requirements also apply to multi-level, single-point adjustable, multi-point adjustable, interior hung, needle beam, catenary, and float (ship) scaffolds.



  • Scaffolds and scaffold components must be inspected for visible defects by a competent person before each shift, and after each occurrence that could affect a scaffold's integrity (such as being struck by a crane). [1926.451(f)(3)]

  • Any part of a scaffold that has been damaged or weakened so that it no longer meets OSHA strength requirements must either be repaired, replaced, braced, or removed from service. [1926.451(f)(4)]

Moving Scaffolds
  • Scaffolds shall not be moved horizontally while employees are on them, unless they have been designed for that purpose by a registered professional engineer, or in the case of mobile scaffolds, where the provisions of 1926.452(w) are followed 1926.451(f)(5).

  • Two-point suspension scaffolds shall not be bridged or otherwise connected one to another during raising and lowering operations unless the bridge connections are articulated (attached), and the hoists properly sized. [1926.452(p)(5)]

  • Employees are not permitted to work on or from a scaffold during storms or high wind, unless a competent person has determined that it is safe, and those employees are protected by:

    • Personal fall-arrest systems, or

    • Wind screens (when windscreens are used the scaffold must be secured against the anticipated wind forces). [1926.451(f)(12)]
  • Employees are prohibited from working on scaffolds covered with snow, ice, or other slippery materials, except as necessary for removal of such materials. [1926.451(f)(8)]
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