Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

January 9, 1979

Mr. O.M. Nygaard
Technical Prevention Division Labor and Industries Building
Salem, Oregon 97310

Dear Mr. Nygaard:

This is in response to your letter dated December 15, 1978, and a telephone conversation with a member of my staff, Mr. William Simms. You have expressed concern over the prohibition of lean-to scaffolds.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Construction Safety and Health Regulation, specifically 1926.541(a)(20), prohibits the use of shore or lean-to scaffolds as indicated in your letter. However, the information you have provided this office substantiates that the subject Oregon secured scaffold arrangement is not a lean-to scaffolds.

The Oregon secured scaffold appears to meet the applicable general requirements of 29 CFR 1926.451(a). It is recommended that the subject scaffold should not be referred to as a lean-to scaffold, as it is not, and would only cause confusion in the field. In addition the planking and spacing of the bearers shall comply with 29 CFR 1926.451(a)(10) and Table L-3.

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


John K. Barto,
Chief Division of Occupational Safety Programming