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 https://www.osha.gov.

September 23, 1976

Mr. W. E. Raymond, Secretary
Safety Education Committee
for the Electrical Construction Industry
710 N. Plankinton Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Dear Mr. Raymond:

This is in response to your letter of June 30, 1976, to Mr. Donald Shay concerning the intent of 29 CFR 1926.451(e)(6) and (8), and confirms the matters discussed recently over the telephone with a member of my staff. I extend apologies for our delay in response.

The intent of 1926.451(e)(6) is to preclude the accidental tipping over of a tower type scaffold by initiating a force higher than the center of gravity for the scaffold. Since the elevation of your working surface is relatively low, three to five feet, it appears that the scaffold would be reasonably safe when used with your restrictions as well as those required in 1926.451(e)(7). By no means could this office consider the so called "Baker Scaffold" a tower scaffold when constructed in the manner depicted in your photographs.

As far as 1926.451(e)(8) is concerned, the answer depends upon how well your alternate method functions. If it locks the wheels and/or casters so as to prevent movement of the scaffold under normal working pressures, it would meet the intent of the standard. However, it is suggested that some form of test be made in order to ascertain if a worker could tip over the mobile scaffold if he happened to forget to unlock the wheels or casters prior to exerting pressure from the platform. If he could, some system would have to be developed to prevent the tipping, such as out riggers, signs, etc.

Thank you for your concern and interest in occupational safety and health.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming