Hanging Staging (Marine) >> Preparing for Use: SWP 2. Determine Use and Loading Characteristics

Preparing for Use

SWP 2. Determine Use and Loading Characteristics
Intended Use

Knowing a scaffold's intended use is critical to its design and construction. By design, marine hanging staging is a temporary elevated platform that supports workers and their tools.

Image of worker inspecting staging before installation

Assess aspects of staging use before installation.

Photo courtesy of OSHA.

Key Point

Marine hanging staging is not intended to support materials such as plate or pipe.

A marine hanging scaffold might be installed by one contractor, such as a painting contractor who will perform blasting and coating, but will first be used by another employer, such as a contractor repairing a hull prior to blasting and coating.

Erecting this type of scaffolding to safely accomplish more than one kind of work requires careful planning and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Loading Characteristics

Fundamental to determining the loading characteristics of any scaffold is its material makeup and the manner in which it is constructed.

Key Point

Marine hanging staging must be capable of supporting its own weight (the dead load) and at least four times the "maximum intended load"-the sum of the weight of persons occupying the scaffold and equipment to be placed on the scaffold. In other words, the staging must have a "safety factor" not less than four (4) [29 CFR Part 1915.71(b)(1)]. Wire rope used for suspending scaffolds must have a safety factor not less than six (6) [ANSI A10.8-2001].

Using accepted engineering principles and field tests, Virginia shipyard employers (i.e., Members of the Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc., or VSRA) have determined that this type of marine hanging staging is a suitable support for two workers and their tools, or 500 pounds per platform level, provided the staging does not exceed seven (7) tiers (platform levels) in height.

Key Point

An engineering analysis should be conducted for situations where staging will exceed seven tiers.