OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

August 10, 1976

Mr. Carl S. Bloomberg Manager,
Hi-Climber Systems
13500 County Road 6
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55441

Dear Mr. Bloomberg:

This is in response to your letter of July 23, 1976, regarding a clarification of what constitutes lashing or stability for portable scaffolds.

You may be referring to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard which states: "two-point suspension scaffolds shall be securely lashed to the building or structure to prevent them from swaying. Window cleaners' anchors shall not be used for this purpose."

A clarification of this standard includes the following comments:

1. The scaffold is required to be securely lashed to the building or structure.

2. The lashing should have sufficient strength to withstand without failure at least four times the maximum force which would be exerted on it in a reasonably predictable manner.

3. This lashing shall not be secured to window cleaners' anchors.

4 This lashing shall prevent the scaffold from moving or inclining to one side or in a particular direction under reasonably predictable conditions.

The above is a literal clarification of the standard. Your concern that there may be many buildings that provide no means whatever to prevent the swaying of a platform or a scaffold is appreciated. OSHA has no jurisdiction over the features of a building itself as relates to securely lashing the two-point suspension scaffolding to it, until such time as an employee is to use the scaffold in his course of work.

A copy of this file is being forwarded to our Division of Standards Development for informational purposes.

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming