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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

August 5, 1997

Mr. Willie Westmoreland
Safety Director/construction Manager
Interstate Scaffolding, Inc.
P.O. Box 198
17315 Ashland Ave.
East Crest, Il 60429

Dear Mr. Westmoreland:

This is in response to your letter of June 12, 1997, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requesting an interpretation of the requirements in paragraph 1926.451 for the daily inspection of scaffolds.

OSHA requires the general contractor in section 1926.451(f)(3) to have scaffolds and scaffold components inspected for visible defects by a competent person prior to each work shift and after any occurrence which could affect a scaffold's structural integrity. Given the importance of detecting defects in scaffolds and scaffold components, OSHA believes that all scaffolds need to be inspected at the times specified. However, this does not mean that the original builder/ contractor of the scaffold must inspect the scaffold daily. In addition, on large frame systems, the inspection is only required for those scaffold areas that will be used by employees during the next work shift.

If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us again by writing to:


Directorate of Construction - OSHA
Office of Construction Standards and
Compliance Assistance, Rm. N3621
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210


Roy F. Gurnham, P.E., J.D.
Office of Construction Standards and
Compliance Assistance